Long Walk Hurdle - 20th December, 2014

Reve De Sivola will aim to emulate the mighty Big Buck's on Saturday afternoon and land a third Long Walk Hurdle crown on the spin in what has the makings of a really intriguing renewal of the Grade 1 prize at Ascot, as we look for clues for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

Last seen in France, the Nick Williams-trained nine-year-old will return to British soil and he has shown he can excel at this Berkshire venue, but he will face some tough rivals in a race that could see a field of five line up at the 3m 1f start.

Zarkandar heads the betting and Paul Nicholls' raider was last seen winning a Grade 1 event at Auteuil and if he can repeat that performance then he will be extremely tough to beat, as he has shown down the years he is a real Grade 1 performer and this race is lacking that staying superstar.

Medinas caused a shock when toppling reigning staying champion More Of That in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and Alan King's charge will aim to emulate that effort here, whilst Aubusson was a fine winner of the Brush Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park last time out and is entitled to take his chance at the highest level.

David Pipe's Dell' Arca will complete the quintet and the former Greatwood Handicap Hurdle champion has just been struggling in some red-hot novice chases and the Pond House team could let him return to the hurdling sphere for this valuable prize.

Latest Betting for 2014 Long Walk Hurdle

5/4 Zarkandar

3/1 Medinas

7/2 Reve De Sivola

8/1 Aubusson

12/1 Dell' Arca

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Long Walk Hurdle History

The Long Walk Hurdle is a Grade One race run at Ascot over three miles, one furlong for horses aged four years or older and is widely regarded as a trial for the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Having originally been run as a handicap race, it eventually became a conditions contest in 1971 and gained top level status in 1990 where ever since it's attracted the leading staying hurdlers in the UK & Ireland.

Lanzarote won the 1975 renewal of the Long Walk Hurdle after bagging glory at the Cheltenham Festival in the Champion Hurdle the year before, whilst Royal Athlete won the 1989 contest for trainer Jenny Pitman before storming to a shock Grand National victory in 1995.

However, it is seldom you see a winner of this race go on the Cheltenham Festival and not compete in the World Hurdle as it is a perfect test for the staying hurdlers.

Baracouda will be a name that goes down in national hunt history and Francois Doumen's phenomenon managed to bag four Long Walk crowns during an illustrious career.� The JP McManus-owned star used his Long Walk successes as a springboard to other Grade One victories and alongside his Ascot Hurdle and Long Distance Hurdle titles he also managed to bag two World Hurdle wins in 2003 and 2004.

My Way De Solzen emulated Baracouda's achievements as he won 2005 Long Walk contest before going on to the Cheltenham Festival to lift the Thursday showpiece and then ventured on to the chasing game where he won the 2007 Arkle Challenge Trophy.

More recently, one horse has dominated the long distance hurdle ranks and Paul Nicholls' Big Buck's has amassed two victories in the Long Walk to go along with his three World Hurdle titles and the national hunt legend is sure to be a name associated with this contest for an extremely long time.

Recent Winners of Long Walk Hurdle

  • 2000 - Baracouda
  • 2001 - Baracouda
  • 2002 - Deano's Beeno
  • 2003 - Baracouda
  • 2004 - Baracouda
  • 2005 - My Way De Solzen
  • 2006 - Mighty Man
  • 2007 - Lough Derg
  • 2008 - Punchestowns
  • 2009 - Big Buck's
  • 2010 - Big Buck's
  • 2011 - Big Buck's
  • 2012 - Reve De Sivola
  • 2013 - Reve De Sivola
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