- Horse Racing
Reve De Sivola powers to Long Walk win
Reve De Sivola produced a stunning staying display to land the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.
Nick Williams' charge was thrashed by Big Buck's at Newbury, but with the champion stayer out for the season the door was open for a challenger to step up. And it was Reve De Sivola who did just that - sloshing through the Berkshire mud to land the Grade One prize.
Richard Johnson elected to make it a thorough stamina test and turning for home there were only four left in the with a chance.
Favourite Smad Place travelled well into the race, but turning in he was being niggled along and he started to paddle. It was the same story for Master Of The Hall and Trustan Times, while Reve De Sivola galloped on remorselessly.
A fine leap at the second last broke the spirit of the chasers and Reve De Sivola careered away for a wide-margin success.
"It worked out nicely today as he had plenty of space and it was an impressive performance," Williams said. "We will go for the World Hurdle, but I always injure horses at Cheltenham - it's not my favourite course and he wants heavy ground, but he will have to take his chance."
Johnson was in the winners' enclosure earlier in the day, making all the running on De La Bech for what was his 100th victory of the season.
Cause Of Causes was a shock 25/1 winner of the Ladbroke Hurdle when coming home with a wet sail to swoop past Petit Robin in the dying strides. Gordon Elliott's charge was a fine third at Cheltenham last time and relished the soft ground to score.
Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh, shorn of Big Buck's and Al Ferof for the rest of the season, secured a much-needed boost when Cedre Bleu got the better of a sustained battled with Brass Tax to take the Shawbrook Bank Graduation Chase.
Cannington Brook defied the welter burden of 11st 12lb to bag the Tommy Whittle Chase for the second year in a row.
Colin Tizzard's charge is at home at Haydock and in the mud and he found reserves of stamina to get the better of a lengthy duel with Merry King.
Trainer Alan King, out of luck with Smad Place at Ascot, scored with Bakbenscher who relished the heavy ground to land the Bet At Bluesq.com Handicap Hurdle.