Horses To Follow » Oscar Whisky

Oscar Whisky

Oscar Whisky ran a cracker in a competitive Champion Hurdle, albeit one that was lacking its reigning champion, to finish third to two very good horses in Hurricane Fly and the hitherto unbeaten Peddlers Cross. He crashed through the second flight and wasn’t as fluent as some of the others at several of the hurdles yet still came there at the bottom of the hill to press Peddlers Cross for the lead. He was out-speeded on the run to the last by the front two, but that is no disgrace at all for a horse who should prove best at further, as Hurricane Fly was a very good winner of the race and Peddlers Cross is one of the gutsiest horses in training. He kept on for a clear third having been threatened for that position quite seriously by Menorah and Thousand Stars on the run-in.

After his seasonal return over two miles four and a half furlongs at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, Nicky Henderson gave serious credence to the option of the World Hurdle rather than dropping back down to two miles for the Champion. In the end they opted for the two-mile route, at least in part because his owner Dai Walters wanted him to run in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las, the track which he created. He easily took that race en route to Cheltenham, but surely he is in line for a step up in trip now. One of his half brothers won a point-to-point and his dam won over hurdles herself, albeit over two miles, and Oscar can sire strong stayers over jumps, so there is every hope in the pedigree that he will get three miles, especially given time, and his performance on New Year’s Day did little to discourage that notion.

In the immediate future, he could be one for the Aintree Hurdle, although he may well have to take on Peddlers Cross again there, as well as Quevega. Even so, he will be of big interest now stepped up in trip.

15th March 2011