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Cheltenham

  • 13:20 Cheltenham Pony Club Raceday Novices' Chase 2m 5f

  • (Registered As The Dipper Novices' Chase) (Grade 2) £32,000 added 5yo+ 4 ran
  • Winner £18,224 2nd £6,838 3rd £3,424 4th £1,706
  • Going: Soft, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 44.60s
  • Off time: 13:20:57

Oscar Whisky landed the odds in the Dipper Chase at Cheltenham

Last Updated: 01/01/14 2:45pm

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Oscar Whisky gets the better of Taquin du Seuil this time

Oscar Whisky gets the better of Taquin du Seuil this time

Oscar Whisky gained his revenge over Taquin Du Seuil in bottomless conditions at Cheltenham.

The result had been the other way around at the Open Meeting at the track in November when Taquin Du Seuil, but Oscar Whisky always looked to be slightly better-positioned this time.

Although the contest wasn't run quite the same crawl as for their last meeting, once again the four jockeys went only very realistic fractions given the extremely testing conditions and approaching the bypassed second-last fence, little more than a length separated the quartet.

At that point, the principals went clear as the complexion of the race changed and Tony McCoy brought Taquin Du Seuil to throw down a challenge to Oscar Whisky.

But Barry Geraghty hadn't gone for everything aboard the winner and the 5/6 favourite found more to score by three-quarters of a length.

Nicky Henderson is ready to give the winner another outing ahead of the Festival, and said: "He was good all the way round and Barry was very clever not to force it early on. He's come here twice this season and done that on his own, but thankfully not today, and it was quite nice to get a bit of competition.

"Barry has then taken it easy coming down the hill which was very sensible.

"Remembering he wasn't that far off Champion Hurdle class we'll put him in the Arkle as well [as the Jewson Chase] and that would be an option if it came up soft.

"He's on the older side to be switching to fences at nine, and I must wish him happy birthday, but he's taken to it well. He's a stuffy horse so well probably give him another run. It could be in the Scilly Isles (at Sandown)."

Sky Bet cut Oscar Whisky from 10/1 to 8/1 for the Jewson Chase. He's a 16/1 chance for the Arkle with the same firm.

Geraghty added: "He was good here the last day and while I can't say he wants that kind of ground he showed his class."

Henderson also issued a further bulletin on Sprinter Sacre, who is to canter on Friday.

He said: "It's all good, but Friday is the crucial day when Celia (Marr, specialist) will come down from Newmarket with a heart monitor.

"We are a long way from being in complete daylight, but the worst could well be behind us. The cardiographs showed distinctly how his heart had self-corrected."

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