Reve De Sivola: leading World Hurdle fancy set for Cleeve outingPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Cleeve Hurdle the target for Reve De Sivola
REVE DE SIVOLA is on course for a tilt at the Grade 2 £60,000 Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle over 3m at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day.
Trained by Nick Williams, Reve De Sivola was the impressive 14-length winner of the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 22. He previously finished second to Big Buck's in the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on December 1, when having his first start for nearly a year.
The eight-year-old was a high-class novice hurdler during the 2009/10 season, winning a pair of Grade 1 events, but he failed to transfer that form to fences over the next two seasons which prompted connections to go back over hurdles.
Williams said: "I have been happy with Reve De Sivola since his win at Ascot and we are looking at running him in the Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle.
"I wasn't really surprised by his performance at Ascot because he is a Grade 1 horse. We decided to switch back to hurdles from chasing because he wasn't jumping his fences properly.
"Heavy ground isn't crucial to him but it is kinder on his legs because he has had time off with tendon issues. He will go on the quicker ground but we will be a bit more anxious.
"The World Hurdle is the big target for him. Reve De Sivola is rated 166 and Oscar Whisky is rated 1lb higher, and I have always thought Oscar Whisky would stay three miles so I don't think there is a lot between them."
Reflecting on the possible rivals Reve De Sivola could face at the Cheltenham Festival, Williams continued: "I think the other horses in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle betting are speculative because they haven't got top-class form at the trip and are suspect stayers. My horse is a genuine stayer and has a lot of class - I think he is the one to beat."
Festival Trials Day takes place at Cheltenham on January 26.