Tips: Reve De Sivola can hit heights

Willie Mullins: Un De Sceaux is favourite at Cheltenham. Picture: Getty
Willie Mullins: Un De Sceaux is favourite at Cheltenham. Picture: Getty
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The decision to put Reve De Sivola back over fences after a gap of more than four years may have come as a surprise but the star staying hurdler can reward connections with victory in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock today.

On closer study, the move is a sensible one as Reve De Sivola can run off 21lb less over the bigger obstacles.

It is not a desperate measure as the 11-year-old was still competing with credit at the top level over timber, only going down by eight lengths to emerging star Thistlecrack in his bid to win the Long Walk at Ascot for the fourth year running.

Reve De Sivola’s form over fences may not be as good as that over hurdles, but his only success to date came at the main expense of Wishfull Thinking and he finished in the first four at the Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown Festivals in 2011.

Three miles on heavy ground is ideal for the Nick Williams-trained gelding, while the fences at Haydock are not as stiff as they used to be. Reve De Sivola has plenty going for him and he looks a good bet to land the spoils.

The New One gave one of his least impressive performances to win the StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial 12 months ago but he remains a classy operator and can repeat that triumph.

Successful on his reappearance at Kempton in October, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ stable star lost nothing in defeat when running Faugheen to seven lengths back at the Sunbury venue in the Christmas Hurdle.

Twiston-Davies should also be on the mark with Bristol De Mai in the Star Your RacingUK Free Trial Now Novices’ Chase.

The Naunton handler has a considerably high opinion of the five-year-old, who has made a very promising start to his fencing career, winning at Warwick and Leicester and finishing second to two quality opponents in Garde La Victoire and Ar Mad in his other two starts.

At Ascot, all eyes will be on Un De Sceaux as last year’s Arkle Trophy hero bids to bounce back from a fall at Leopardstown and reinforce his Queen Mother Champion Chase claims.

Willie Mullins’ trailblazing eight-year-old is still ante-post favourite for the two-mile championship at Cheltenham despite his blip over Christmas when he looked to be in charge of affairs until his untimely exit.

It will be no walkover in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase as he is sure to be tested in particular by Sire De Grugy, a former winner of this and the Champion Chase, but Un De Sceaux looks a bit special.

TODAY

ASCOT

12:40 Jinsha Lake

1:15 Capilla

1:50 Vroum Vroum Mag

2:25 Zulu Oscar

3:00 Un De Sceaux

3:35 Regal Encore

4:10 Duke Des Champs

HAYDOCK

1:00 Baywing

1:30 Bristol De Mai

2:05 Le Prezien

2:40 The New One

3:15 Reve De Sivola (nap)

3:50 Little Jimmy

4:20 Baratineur

LINGFIELD

2:35 Stosur

1:10 Jintshi

1:45 Take The Helm

2:20 Sylvette

2:55 Anglophile

3:30 Karnage

4:05 Head Space

TAUNTON

1:35 Miles To Milan

2:10 Air Horse One

2:45 Somerset Lias

3:20 Some Buckle

3:55 Blue Buttons

4:30 Jayo Time

TOMORROW

CHELMSFORD

1:10 Kyllach Me

1:45 Rialto Magic

2:15 Modest

2:50 Pearl Acclaim (nap)

3:25 Invade

3:55 Fun For All

4:25 Goodwood Moonlight

FONTWELL

1:00 Hit The Highway

1:30 Zero Visibility

2:05 Legend Lady

2:40 Mr Muddle

3:15 Altesse De Guye

3:45 Mr McGregor

4:15 Shrewd Tactics