Horses To Follow » Funambule Sivola

Funambule Sivola

Funambule Sivola again shaped like a horse who would be better dropped back down in trip when he finished ninth in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. Held up early on, he was wide around the home turn, and he was keen through the early part of the race. He travelled well down the back straight, and he made ground among horses, moving up to join the leading group as they raced to the top of the hill. He travelled well down the hill too, and he made good ground around the home turn to move into a share of fourth place jumping the second last fence, but he weakened from there as his stamina ebbed, and he faded up the hill to finish ninth.

Venetia Williams’ horse is a talented individual, and he could improve again now for a drop back down in trip. Winner of three of his six chases over the minimum trip last season, he got to within three lengths of Shishkin in the Maghull Chase at Aintree in April, pulling 20 lengths clear of his other rivals. He ran really well on his seasonal debut too, in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, to finish second to First Flow, when he raced prominently and looked the most likely winner when he moved to the front over the fourth last fence. He was still on the bridle rounding the home turn but, again, it appeared as if he ran out of stamina. If he does drop back down to two miles next time, he can be ridden forward, and those tactics seem to suit him well. He holds an entry in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot later this month, and he could be a lively outsider in that – although it could be a hot heat, with Shishkin and Energumene both holding entries – at a track at which he is one for one. It was only a three-horse race that he won but, importantly, he jumped the Ascot fences superbly, he made all and he won easily.
Cheltenham, 1st January 2022