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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Reve De Sivola

Connections of Reve De Sivola are hoping he might get the chance to fill the void in the staying hurdle division left by the sidelined Big Buck's after an emphatic success in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

The Nick Williams-trained seven-year-old built on his comeback run behind Big Buck's at Newbury three weeks earlier with a 14-length victory over Smad Place, clearing away coming down the straight.

"We were hopeful, but you never know until the day when a horse comes back from a long period off through injury," said Paul Duffy, who heads the Diamond Partnership syndicate.

"He always stays on, he's a stayer, and we rode him differently because we wanted to make sure it was a staying race. The horses behind him weren't as guaranteed to stay as Reve, we thought, and that's why Nick's instructions to Richard Johnson were to be there or thereabouts. And he was just relentless.

"The horse is fine. He had a hose down after the race to make sure his joints were fine.

"We like to think we've got the objective of the World Hurdle. Let's keep our fingers crossed he gets there. He has done all right at Cheltenham when he ran against Peddlers Cross in the Neptune Novices' Hurdle at the Festival. Rite Of Passage was third and the form of that race has stood up pretty well.

"He hurdled very well on Saturday. He just made one mistake, that's all, and the rest he hurdled very well. Big Buck's went back to hurdles and has won 18 races in a row.

"Before the race we talked about whether or not he went to Cheltenham at the end of January. That's a possibility, but we will have to see how he comes out of the race and think carefully about it. Cheltenham takes it out of a horse and do we want to take him there twice?

"The horse will tell us how his well-being is. Sometimes it's quite difficult to keep a horse in training, fit and ready to run. We've come to learn week by week with horses it's full of uncertainties and you have to enjoy the highs."

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