Oscar Whisky set for a shot at Novices’ Chase


Oscar Whisky will probably take a tilt at the Jewson Novices’ Chase at the Festival in March, following a clear-cut defeat of Taquin Du Seuil in the Cheltenham Pony Club Raceday Novices’ Chase.

The win by three-quarters of a length might have been less had the runner-up not nodded on landing over the last, but Barry Geraghty’s mount still galloped impressively up the hill.

Nicky Henderson is ready to give his 5-6 winner another outing ahead of the Festival: “He was good all the way round and Barry was very clever not to force it early on,” the trainer said.

Henderson issued a further bulletin on Sprinter Sacre, the outstanding two-mile chaser who suffered a health scare last week. The horse will have his heart monitored after a canter tomorrow. “We are a long way from being in complete daylight, but the worst could well be behind us,” Henderson said. “The cardiographs showed distinctly how his heart had self-corrected.”

Willie Mullins’ Annie Power extended her unbeaten run to nine in the Dornan Engineering Hurdle, seeing off Zarkandar for the second time.