A cracking weekend of action saw Reve De Sivola emulate the mighty staying duo of Baracouda and Big Buck's by landing a hat-trick of wins in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, whilst a new Arkle Trophy favourite emerged at Fairyhouse after a fine jumping display. We look back at the last seven days of National Hunt racing and pick out five of the top stories.
Sivola Lands Long Walk Hat-Trick After Epic Battle With Zarkandar
As Sam Twiston-Davies eased to the front on the red-hot favourite Zarkandar it appeared that the Long Walk Hurdle would turn into a rout for the Paul Nicholls-trained raider, but what was to unfold in the final couple of furlongs was a performance from a staying warrior. Daryl Jacob was hard at work on the Nick Williams-trained Reve De Sivola as he tried to keep up a strong gallop, but he looked destined for second place as the Ditcheat hotshot breezed to the lead. However, Jacob eked ever sinew out of his nine-year-old and he managed to bag the Grade 1 crown by a head and follow in the footsteps of Baracouda and Big Buck's who have both etched their name into the roll of honour at least three times. For those looking to follow the dour stayer at the Cheltenham Festival then you are still able to get 25/1 about him winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in March.
Condon Bags Hefty Ban After Landing Ladbroke On Bayan
Davy Condon was only having his third ride back after a lengthy absence from the saddle, but the Irish jockey will be spending an inforced time on the sidelines, as he picked up a 15-day ban from the stewards after piloting Bayan to victory in The Ladbroke at Ascot on Saturday. He was adjudged to have used the whip above the permitted level after the last flight as he produced a power-packed ride on board the Gordon Elliott-trained star, who fought off Pine Creek in a thrilling finish. Condon will not appeal the charge in a race that also saw Sam Twiston-Davies pick up a ban as well when piloting the aforementioned Pine Creek to a runner-up spot.
Un De Sceaux Trimmed For Arkle After Fairyhouse Success
Having fallen on his chasing debut, Un De Sceaux was handed his second test over fences on Saturday afternoon at Fairyhouse and the top class hurdler produce a fine round of jumping to land the beginners chase with aplomb and the Willie Mullins-trained star was instantly slashed for the 2015 Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival. Sent to the front from the flag fall by Ruby Walsh, the six-year-old dominated an inferior field and eventually eased home by 12 lengths from Smashing in what was a mightily-impressive rout for what looks a top quality recruit to the chasing division.
Conti Heads Perfect Ten For King George At Kempton
Silviniaco Conti was the star attraction in a list of 10 entries received for the King George VI Chase, which will take place at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. The reigning champion was last seen launching to an emphatic victory in the Betfair Chase and he will lock horns with a number of defeated challengers that day with Cue Card, Dynaste and Menorah just a trio that were beaten at Haydock Park. Perhaps the most intriguing duo to take on the Paul Nicholls-trained runner is his stablemate Al Ferof, who won the Amlin 1965 Chase last time out, whilst Irish star Champagne Fever is the most exciting entry as he aims to bag the prize on his first attempt at three miles.
Faugheen Tops Christmas Hurdle List, As The New One Bypasses Event
Unbeaten superstar hurdler Faugheen will aim to enhance his reputation and duly cement his place at the top of the 2015 Champion Hurdle betting as he heads to Kempton Park's Boxing Day cracker to take part in the Christmas Hurdle. However, he will not do battle with The New One, who was not entered for the event, and will take on the likes of Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner Irving and the unexposed Sign Of A Victory, who is aiming to propel into the Cheltenham Festival reckoning with a fine performance in this premier Champion Hurdle trial.