The brilliant Oscar Whisky (9g Oscar-Ash Baloo, by Phardante) claimed his third career G1 success at Sandown on Saturday when winning the G1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase under Barry Geraghty.
The son of Oscar, who was bred by Stephanie Hanly, was completing a hat-trick over fences as he scored in good style by nine lengths under testing conditions as he continued his path to the Cheltenham Festival.
“It was hard work but it was always going to be, they’ve done well to race,” winning trainer Nicky Henderson told PA Sport. “He’s a stuffy devil, and while I would never run Bobs Worth or My Tent Or Yours on this you’ve just got to keep this horse going.
“He kept taking blows all the way through and he looked big, but that race will have been good for him and we are very much on schedule for Cheltenham – he loves the two and a half miles round there.”
Geraghty added: “I always felt coming away from the Railway fences there was a little bit there when I needed it. He was good at the last, he was very quick, and that made the difference, I delayed my challenge a little bit as he’d been sluggish through the race, there was no point getting involved too early.
“Cheltenham will be totally different. He has coped with soft ground but in top company he’s better on good to soft.”