The JLT Long Walk Hurdle
Grade 1, Ascot 14:25
£100,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m 1f 110y, Class 1  
Saturday 19th December 2015

1 Thistlecrack 2/1F
2 Reve De Sivola 11/4
3 Deputy Dan 14/1
8 ran Distances: 8l, 12l, 8l
TIME 6m 5.30s (slow by 19.30s)

Titanbet make Thistlecrack the 7/2 favourite for the World Hurdle following his impressive victory

Thistlecrack
© Racehorse Photos
Thistlecrack

The open look to the stayers' hurdling division appears to have a more one-sided dimension to it after Thistlecrack continued his rise with a decisive success at Ascot.

Having disposed of reigning World Hurdle champion Cole Harden in the Long Distance Hurdle on his previous start at Newbury, the seven-year-old took another step forward in this Grade One.

Reve De Sivola, in his bid for a fourth straight success in the race, set what was a decent gallop to ensure the stamina limitations of his rivals would be given a test.

After having his attentions switched from chasing for the season, Saphir Du Rheu travelled kindly in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies as he moved up to join the Nick Williams-trained 10-year-old mid-way around the second circuit before folding tamely rounding the home turn.

Richard Johnson threw everything he had at Reve De Sivola, but Tom Scudamore cut an altogether different image aboard the 2-1 favourite as he breezed into the lead over the penultimate flight.

Despite producing a less-than-fluent jump at the last, Thistlecrack was not for stopping and cantered to an eight-length success.

Thistlecrack is now the outright favourite with all firms for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Tizzard said: "I had it on my mind all summer that if he's not up to World Hurdle class we'd scrap that and go over fences.

"We said we'd give him two runs over hurdles to see if he's good enough and we now know what the answer to that is.

"He'll run again one more time before Cheltenham, otherwise I'd be left twiddling my thumbs with him for three months.

"If you look at him, he looks a magnificent specimen of a chaser, but he is picking up an awful lot of money doing what he is doing.

"He just hurdles really accurately but he has got the scope for everything you could possibly want from a horse.

"Tom said it felt great and it looked great - he does everything so easily.

"When I first had him he was like a 13-year-old with a runny nose. Now he has grown up you could not fault him as a racehorse."

Scudamore, was only able to ride at Ascot after a successful careless-riding appeal on Thursday, said: "He gave me a lot of pleasure - it's a very special day.

"David Pipe (Scudamore's boss) said to me you can ride Thistlecrack but I had to just clear it with John (White), his owner.

"I spoke to him (White) when both horses were going for the race and John was very helpful and gave me his blessing.

"I very rarely get off one for David Pipe as he has been very loyal and good to me and it was tough to desert Dynaste on this occasion.

"He (Thistlecrack) has done everything that I've asked of him and it was a very impressive performance."

Williams was pleased with the performance of Reve De Sivola, but is not keen to renew rivalry with Thistlecrack in the World Hurdle.

He said: "I felt he was as well as he could be coming into the race.

"We are vulnerable to the up-and-coming youngsters.

"He might go for the Cleeve Hurdle but I don't know if I would want to take on Thistlecrack again.

"He has not got a good record in the World Hurdle so I doubt we would go for that, we might just do something different.

"I thought he ran his race, though."

Saphir Du Rheu failed to land a blow, trailing home fifth, but his rider Sam Twiston-Davies believes he will soon be back to his best.

He said: "He had a very hard race in the Hennessy.

"He probably just got a little bit tired.

"He is a Grade One-winning horse on his day and he will get back to that."

Ladbrokes

JLT Long Walk Hurdle
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 97y, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Thistlecrack 2/1f T Scudamore
11-7
C L Tizzard 7
2nd 8 Reve De Sivola (FR) 11/4 R Johnson
11-7
Nick Williams 10
3rd 12 Deputy Dan (IRE) 14/1 L P Aspell
11-7
O Sherwood 7
4th 8 Karezak (IRE) 33/1 Wayne Hutchinson
11-7
A King 4
5th Saphir Du Rheu (FR) 11/4 Sam Twiston-Davies
11-7
P F Nicholls 6
6th Aqalim 20/1 Aidan Coleman
11-7
J P Ferguson 5
7th 9 Taglietelle 16/1 D N Russell
11-7
G Elliott 6
8th 63 Dynaste (FR) 12/1 C O'Farrell
11-7
D Pipe 9

LONG WALK HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR (1965-2012)
Race run as a handicap prior to 1971
(run at Newbury in 2009, Chepstow in 2005 and Windsor in 2004)

Year Winner Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP

2014 REVE DE SIVOLA
2013 REVE DE SIVOLA
2012 REVE DE SIVOLA
2011 BIG BUCK’S 8-11-07 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls AP McCoy 3/10F
2010 BIG BUCK’S 7-11-07 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls AP McCoy 2/13F
2009 BIG BUCK’S 6-11-07 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 1/2F
2008 PUNCHESTOWNS 5-11-07 Judy Wilson Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 3/1F
2007 LOUGH DERG 7-11-07 W Frewen David Pipe Tom Scudamore 14/1
2006 MIGHTY MAN 6-11-07 Joss Hanbury Henry Daly Richard Johnson 11/8F
2005 MY WAY DE SOLZEN 5-11-07 B Windfield, A Longman, J Wright, C Fenton; Alan King Robert Thornton 12/1
2004 BARACOUDA 9-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Tony McCoy 8/13F
2003 BARACOUDA 8-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 2/7F
2002 DEANO’S BEENO 10-11-07 Axom Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 14/1
2001 BARACOUDA 6-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 2/5F
2000 BARACOUDA 5-11-07 Roger Barby Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 11/4
1999 ANZUM 8-11-07 Old Foresters P’ship Alan King Richard Johnson 4/1
1998 PRINCEFUL 7-11-07 Robert Hitchins Jenny Pitman Richard Dunwoody 11/4F
1997 PADDY’S RETURN 5-11-07 Paddy O’Donnell Ferdy Murphy Norman Williamson 8/1
1996 OCEAN HAWK 4-11-07 Matt Archer/Jean Broadhurst Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn 7/1
1995 SILVER WEDGE 4-11-07 Shirley & Bill Robins Oliver Sherwood Jamie Osborne 7/1
1994 HEBRIDEAN 7-11-07 Peter Deal David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 100/30
1993 SWEET DUKE 6-11-07 Andy Mavrou Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn 7/2
1992 VAGOG 7-11-07 M A Swift Martin Pipe Martin Foster 15/2
1991 Abandoned due to frost
1990 FLOYD 10-11-07 Mike Walsh David Elsworth Graham Bradley 10/1
1989 ROYAL ATHLETE 6-10-08 Gary Johnson Jenny Pitman Dean Gallagher 33/1
1988 FRENCH GOBLIN 5-11-01 Maurice Pinto Josh Gifford Peter Hobbs 3/1
1987 BLUFF COVE 5-10-08 Dickins Ltd Reg Hollinshead Richard Dunwoody 14/1
1986 OUT OF THE GLOOM 5-10-08 Paul Green Reg Hollinshead Peter Scudamore 4/1
1985 MISTY DALE 7-10-08 David Rose Jenny Pitman Phil Tuck 9/4F
1984 KRISTENSON 7-10-08 Ursula Fantasia Roger Fisher Michael Williams 7/2
1983 CRIMSON EMBERS 8-10-11 Pam Smart Fulke Walwyn Stuart Shilston 14/1
1982 MAYOTTE 7-10-11 B Davies Richard Holder Paul Richards 15/8F
1981 Abandoned due to snow
1980 DERRING ROSE 5-11-11 Peter Savill Fred Winter John Francome 7/1
1979 JOHN CHERRY 8-10-11 Milton Ritzenberg Tom Jones Steve Smith Eccles 6/1
1978 KELSO CHANT 6-11-07 Mrs M Richardson Jumbo Wilkinson Steve Charlton 10/1
1977 JOHN CHERRY 6-10-11 Milton Ritzenberg Tom Jones Steve Smith Eccles 11/8F
1976 Abandoned due to frost
1975 LANZAROTE 7-12-05 Lord Howard de Walden Fred Winter John Francome 4/9F
1974 GO BINGO 5-11-12 Guy Reed Sam Hall David Munro 9/4
1973 SOLONING 8-11-08 Mrs C Thornton Fred Winter Richard Pitman 9/2
1972 HIGHLAND ABBE 6-11-12 Mrs K Hankey Les Kennard Mr R Smith 11/1
1971 ST PATRICK’S BLUE 6-11-12 P Aunger David Tatlow Bill Smith 7/2F
1970 ROUGE AUTUMN 6-10-05 Bryan Jenks Fred Rimell Ken White 9/2F
1969 CANDID CAMERA 6-10-06 R F P Ross Ted Goddard Joe Guest 100/8
1968 Abandoned due to waterlogging
1967 Abandoned due to foot and mouth epidemic
1966 SIR EDWARD 6-10-09 R Heaton Ryan Price Josh Gifford 7/2F
1965 MINUTE GUN 8-10-04 Bill Shand Kydd Bill Shand Kydd Richard Pitman 100/8