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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Henderson keen for Oscar cluesHeadlines
Oscar Whisky

Nicky Henderson is to give Oscar Whisky a second chance of showing whether he stays three miles by running him in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on January 26.

The Seven Barrows trainer remains convinced Dai Walters' classy performer will get that trip despite failing in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle on his only previous attempt at last year's Festival.

The Cleeve is the next race for Oscar Whisky after his planned run in the Centaur Hurdle over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham on New Year's Day was ruined by the weather.

"Plans have changed dramatically, losing the race at Cheltenham over his favourite trip which is two and a half," Henderson told Channel 4 Racing, whose cameras were at his Lambourn stables with Clare Balding as part of the first programme of 2013 with a new line-up.

"We've lost that, and the Welsh Champion Hurdle has now become a handicap which has slightly confused us all as well.

"I'm still not convinced about last year's World Hurdle. He would not have won at two and a half and that is what confuses me. I don't think he was right.

"He was punch drunk at the end of it, he couldn't stand up. What was amazing about him was to come back in time for Aintree. Our main objective is a third Aintree Hurdle, but I'm still not going to lie down about this three-mile bit and if it was soft ground a lot of people would say go Champion Hurdle.

"He just cruises through two and a half and I cannot believe he's not going to get three. Now we have lost our two opportunities the obvious thing to do is to use the Cleeve Hurdle at the end of the month and just try that three miles once and for all and answer the question.

"If the answer is no, then fine. He either comes back to the Champion or we just wait for Aintree."

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