World Hurdle target for Oscar Whisky

Paddy Power

Tagged under: 3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle 3m (Grade1)

Oscar Whisky is looking sure to go for the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with trainer Nicky Henderson saying he is 99.9% certain to run in the Ladbrokes sponsored event in five weeks time.

Dai Walters’ seven-year-old is also entered for the Champion Hurdle but is set to step up to three miles and challenge Big Buck’s domination of the Grade 1 event.

The cold snap has interfered with Cheltenham Festival preparations for Oscar Whisky and he could run in a National Hunt flat race at Kempton this weekend after missing the Welsh Champion Hurdle when Ffos Las was abandoned last Saturday.

Henderson told At The Races: "He's in very good form and is in one of the jumper bumpers at Kempton on Friday and I haven't ruled that one out yet. Trouble is I'm running out of options for him but he isn't a horse I'm desperate to have a run. He's 99.9% certain to go to the World Hurdle."

Oscar Whisky is 5/1 second favourite to win the World Hurdle with Paddy Power who bet 4/7 Big Buck’s will take the race for the fourth consecutive year. Oscar Whiskey has been found just wanting against the best hurdlers over the minimum trip and Henderson will be hopeful the longer trip will provide his first win at the Cheltenham Festival at the third attempt.

As a novice in 2010, Oscar Whisky didn’t have enough speed in the closing stages when finishing fourth, under four lengths behind Menorah in the Supreme Novices Hurdle. It was a similar story the following year, running very gamely in the final stages, Oscar Whisky didn’t have the pace of winner Hurricane Fly or runner up Peddlers Cross when finishing third in the Champion Hurdle.

Henderson’s charge has won on his last two outings over an extended two-and-a-half mile trip at Cheltenham and will have his first attempt at three miles in the World Hurdle. He will be bidding to break the stranglehold of Paul Nicholls’ Big Buck’s who has been champion staying hurdler for the last three years.

After a relatively unsuccessful attempt at chasing Big Buck’s reverted back to hurdling in January 2009 since when he has been unbeaten in 15 starts.

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