The admirable Oscar Whisky (7g Oscar-Ash Baloo, by Phardante) enjoyed his fourth graded success at Ascot on Saturday when running away with the G2 Coral Hurdle by eight lengths.
Nicky Henderson’s charge was making it 12 wins from 16 starts as he relished the testing ground to storm past Raya Star (6g Milan-Garden City, by Shernazar) under Barry Geraghty and a tilt at the G1 Champion Hurdle in March could now be on the cards.
“He adored the ground,” Henderson told www.racingpost.com “We knew we would have to make the running and try to take the sting out of them but they weren’t going to beat him over two miles, let alone the two and a half. The plan had been to go to Cheltenham’s next meeting then on to Ffos Las before maybe missing Cheltenham and going to Fontwell for the National Spirit, but having seen that, if we had a very soft ground Champion Hurdle you would have to think about going for it.”
Oscar Whisky, who was bred by Stephanie Hanly, was continuing a brilliant couple of days for Oscar, who was also responsible for Ascot’s feature handicap chase winner William’s Wishes (7g Oscar-Strong Wishes, by Strong Gale) on Saturday.
On Friday, the exciting Clondaw Kaempfer (4g Oscar-Gra-Bri, by Rashar) won the Listed Betfair Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock and the Henderson-trained Minella Class (7g Oscar-Louisas Dream, by Supreme Leader) won a classy beginners’ chase at Ascot.