• Racing/
  • Whiskys Class Sees Him Through

Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 110y

  • (5yo+, 2m 4f 110y, Class 1, 3 runners)
  • Winner £22,780 2nd £8,548 3rd £4,280 4th £2,132 5th £1,072 6th £536
  • Going: Heavy (Back Straight,Soft in places)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 37.10s
  • Off time: 14:25:26
  • Last Updated: February 1 2014, 17:33 GMT

Oscar Whisky was an unimpressive winner of the Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown at odds of 1/6.

Oscar Whisky: Found it hard work
Oscar Whisky: Found it hard work

Just the three runners lined up for the Grade One contest and the formerly smart hurdler was expected to gain a straightforward success en route to completing a hat-trick over the larger obstacles.

The winning margin would suggest that victory was achieved with the minimum of fuss but that was far from the truth as the nine-year-old put in a sketchy round of jumping.

Settled in last as Benvolio made the running, Oscar Whisky made a mistake at the downhill fence going out onto the final circuit and then reached for several obstacles on the far side.

Despite that he moved smoothly to join issue on the approach to the Pond Fence as he and Manyriverstocross pulled clear. The pair went to the last together but Geraghty's mount was the faster away from the fence and pulled clear to win unchallenged.

"It was hard work, we went very quick," said Geraghty. "Choc (Robert Thornton, on Manyriverstocross) travelled brilliantly and was throwing on the coal from early and I was struggling a lot of the way.

"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."

Henderson said: "It was hard work but it was always going to be, they've done well to race. 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."

There was a mixed reaction from the layers with many leaving him unchanged for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, although he was pushed out to 10/1 by William Hill.

Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners said: "He didn't win as comfortably as his connections would have wanted to but it's job done and it's debatable what this form is worth going forwards.

"Hopefully, conditions will be nowhere near as testing at Cheltenham in March and we're happy to leave him unchanged at 7/1 as he's got plenty of experience at that track and has impressed there the last twice."

New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30