Whisky set to raise the bar
The inclement weather could yet have a major bearing on which members of Nicky Henderson's star-studded team turn out at the weekend.
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Of those entered at Ascot, and that worked midweek, OSCAR WHISKY is the one for whom very testing conditions will hold no perils.
The seven-year-old failed to get the trip in the World Hurdle but is lethal at the Coral Hurdle trip of just under two and a half miles.
He's done everything asked of him in style and will be very hard to beat on his seasonal comeback, with stablemate Darlan likely to be redirected to the Fighting Fifth.
FINIAN'S RAINBOW was mugged by Somersby in the Victor Chandler Chase last January but the nine-year-old ended his campaign with victories at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals.
He has improved with age and went beautifully in his latest bit of stronger work at Seven Barrows.
Henderson is treating the Amlin 1965 Chase as a stepping stone to a move up to three miles in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, but heavy ground could rule him out at the weekend.
LONG RUN has done particularly well and is bang on track for the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Connections believe he may have had a minor issue during part of last season that has now been ironed out.
Physically there remains few more imposing jumpers in training.
SHERNANDO could go for a novices' hurdle at Ascot after working well.
He was found to have an issue with his breathing last season but this has been corrected.
BEAR'S AFFAIR has done well, and after pleasing in his work could go for the "Fixed Brush" Hurdle at Haydock.