Horses To Follow » Reve De Sivola

Reve De Sivola

The Scilly Isles Chase, the Grade 1 novices’ chase at Sandown last Saturday, was never going to suit Reve De Sivola. Last through the early part of the race, his jockey had to administer a reminder after the Pond Fence first time (the fourth) as he was racing lazily, a trait to which we have become accustomed with him since he has gone chasing. He moved past the struggling Cois Farraig having gone past the stands first time round but was niggled along himself from a long way out. His jumping was just not up to scratch for a top class two-and-a-half-mile novice chase, and he was readily outpaced after the Railway fences having been ponderous over them, and was allowed to coast home for a fairly distant seventh of nine.

This was a really hot race though, as good a novice chase as you’ll see most seasons before Cheltenham, and Sandown wouldn’t have suited Nick Williams’ horse at all, especially over two and a half miles. He does lack fluency at his fences and you cant afford to lose half a length at each of the seven fences down the back straight at Sandown over this trip at this level and expect to remain in contention.

He clearly has abundant stamina: it was stamina that won the Challow Hurdle for him last season when he just got up very late on to beat Restless Harry and Finian’s Rainbow, and it was his stamina that won him the day in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown too. That being the case, and with the evidence of his four runs thus far over fences, it seems that the logical race to shoot for at Cheltenham is the RSA Chase over three miles rather than the new Jewson over two and a half for which he is also entered. He is well suited to Cheltenham and put up an excellent effort in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle last year, going down by just a length and a half to Peddlers Cross. He also proved his liking for Prestbury Park when getting up to win a novices’ chase there at the December meeting from the subsequently very impressive Wishful Thinking, who admittedly had no luck in running. He will be very interesting if the RSA is indeed his chosen Festival target, and he could well be over-priced for that contest such is the way he has been readily beaten on three of his four starts this term.

5th February 2011