Horses To Follow » Oscar Whisky

Oscar Whisky

Oscar Whisky ran a very creditable race last week, in a hot renewal of the Supreme Novice Hurdle. Barry Geraghty had the Oscar gelding tracking the leaders toward the inside in the early stages. He settled nicely into the race and jumped fluently in the main, excepting a slight peck on landing going over the fifth. He was travelling very well through the race and as it developed, Geraghty had him nicely placed as they moved down the hill, and he wasn’t helped by Dan Breen’s slightly wayward tendencies immediately in front of him on the approach to the second last. He was also squeezed up a little on the run around the home turn as Dan Breen leaned in on him and Get Me Out Of Here came up his inside, which wasn’t ideal when they were quickening off a slow pace and when position is key. It meant that he levelled up for home two lengths behind Get Me Out Of Here instead of in front of him. He was fighting a losing battle from there, he couldn’t go with the top three, he never really looked like winning the race, but he kept on well to finish a close-up fourth behind Menorah, Get Me Out Of Here and Dunguib, with the front four pulling six lengths clear of the remainder.

This was a really good effort from Nicky Henderson’s charge. The front three in the race look like they could go right to the top, and they are all rated in the 150’s. The pace was slow early on but they did pick on the run down the hill. Oscar Whisky had barely come off the bridle in his four runs before this, he had never been sent off at odds-against in any of his four runs, he may have lacked a little in terms of experience for this test, but he did respond well when Geraghty went for him, and he wasn’t helped by a slight mistake at the final flight. He wasn’t foot perfect at the last, but he stayed on really well up the hill.

Oscar Whisky’s previous performances involved him unbeaten in four races. He began with two bumpers and then won two hurdles on the bridle at Newbury. Both wins at Newbury were on soft ground, as was his previous bumper win on the same track. That said, he travelled well on good ground here, and it may be that he just needs more of a test of stamina at the highest level than two miles on good ground provides. He remains a horse of real potential, and he would be interesting if he was stepped up to two and a half miles at Aintree or Punchestown. He is only five, and he is an exciting prospect for next season.

16th March 2010