Monday, December 5, 2011

Impressive Sivola on the up-and-up

Tom George looks to have an exciting handicap hurdler in the shape of the rapidly progressive Sivola de Sivola who put up an eye-catching performance at Newbury last month when easily accounting for useful opposition in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (qualifier) to catapult himself into the frame for honours in the final of the staying handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, writes Elliot Slater.

George’s five-year-old came up against very smart rivals on each of his first three races over timber, but showed on his second outing when finishing a good runner-up to subsequent Supreme Novices Hurdle runner-up and Aintree Festival winner Spirit Son, that he is a horse of some latent ability. Getting off the mark at the fourth time of asking in a Perth maiden hurdle in April, Sivola de Sivola was then roughed off for the summer but has returned in tremendous form this season. People looking for tips for Cheltenham betting should remember this.

After justifying favouritism at Carlisle on October on his first outing of the campaign the son of Martaline then ran with credit when a staying-on fifth to Fingal Bay in a Grade 2 event at Cheltenham in early November. Stepped up to three miles for his most recent race at Newbury and well supported down to 7/2 favouritism, Sivola de Sivola was always travelling well behind the leaders before being sent on at the second last, from where he stayed-on well to beat Kasbadali by five-lengths. People following the Cheltenham betting tips should bear this in mind.

That effort convinced George that his youngster is definitely on the upgrade and he is looking forward to taking him to Cheltenham in March where he could contest either the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final or, if he improves further between now and then, might have a crack at the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. Wherever he goes there is little doubt that the progressive grey gelding is definitely worth following for the time being.

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