Tote Win: £3.90 Tote Place: £2.00,2.40
Straight Forecast: £13.46 Exacta: £11.40 Swingers: 1&2:2.20 2&3:6.00 1&3:1.70
Jackpot: £24,519.12 carried forward to Plumpton, 2nd Jan
Placepot: £156.20, Pool: £194585.1, 909.03 winning tickets
Quadpot: £27.00, Pool: £16151.34, 442.5 winning tickets
A startlingly emphatic performance from OSCAR WHISKY, adding another cannon to Nicky Henderson's already envious Champion Hurdle battalion. Held up off the pace in the early stages as he tried an extra half-mile for the first time, the six-year-old gelding crept into the race under Barry Geraghty. When Celestial Halo and Karabak tried to kick on three hurdles from home, taking over from long time leader Barizan, Geraghty was content to sit quiet on his mount and it was easy to see why. He cruised between rivals on the turn for home and was still on the bridle at the last flight. He jumped that swiftly and accurately and only had to receive one kick in the belly from his pilot to storm clear from Any Given Day up the run-in. The Welsh Champion Hurdle at owner Dai Walter's Ffos Las is the next port of call, and on this evidence he should take all the beating whoever he faces. The runner-up made several mistakes throughout, but Donald McCain's gelding helps set the form standard. He was readily brushed aside, but is a more reliable yardstick than Karabak. Alan King's gelding seems incapable of running two races the same and was disappointing here. Like Any Given Day he wasn't at all fluent at some of his obstacles, and he was pushed along running down the hill. To his credit he got himself into the race at that point but was readily left behind in the final two furlongs. Celestial Halo ran a promising race; although he is unlikely to ever hit the heights of his Champion Hurdle second again, he raced with enthusiasm here and only tired late on, perhaps due to his earlier exuberance.