Tenacious hurdler Reve De Sivola leads the way in the Cleeve HurdlePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Reve De Sivola all out to hold off marauding Oscar
Report: Cheltenham, Saturday
Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) 5yo+, 3m
REVE DE SIVOLA had to dig deep as he refused to yield to Oscar Whisky in yet another rip-roaring finish on Festival Trials day.
The Nick Williams-trained hurdler, who has been a revelation since ditching a career over fences, is now just 5-1 with the sponsors for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
However, his rival is the same price after finishing just a neck behind.
With question marks over his stamina, Oscar Whisky was ridden to get the trip by Barry Geraghty and travelled into the race late, only attempting to get on terms with Reve De Sivola after the last flight.
The winner, by contrast, was prominent throughout and wrenched the lead from Knockara Beau several furlongs from home.
After the last the pair settled down to an epic duel to the line but, try as he might, Oscar Whisky could not see off the tenacious Reve De Sivola.
Williams said: "He stays so well and the World Hurdle will be next. He runs his race every time and he’s just so tough and genuine. The second horse certainly stayed and they will be confident of beating him in the World Hurdle."
Henderson said: "We came here to answer a question and no one can say he did not stay. He might be better suited to better ground and we will now be able to ride him closer than that as we know the trip is not a problem.
"There is a lot to discuss but if it’s good ground you will probably see him running in the World Hurdle come March, but the race we want to go after is the Aintree Hurdle which he has won for the last two years."