NICKY Henderson has entered Binocular, Oscar Whisky and Simonsig in the Victor Chandler Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on Wednesday.
Henderson has made no secret of the fact that he is running out of options for his star two-mile hurdlers and Binocular was due to run at Sandown last week before it was abandoned. Oscar Whisky is declared to run in a “jumpers’ bumper” at Kempton today while the novice Simonsig has an option at Newbury on Saturday.
The Seven Barrows handler may be wary of a trip to the Borders track, however, as he sent Zaynar up for the same race in 2010 only for him to come up short at odds of 1-14 against Quwetwo. Zaynar did finish third in the Champion Hurdle the following month.
The three Henderson entries are among 16 with Brian Ellison’s Marsh Warbler and Donald McCain’s Desert Cry given the option, although both have been declared in Saturday’s Betfair Hurdle. Cape Tribulation, Local Hero and Nicky Richards’ Simply Ned, on a four-timer, are other interesting possibles.
As the freezing conditions continue to claim fixtures this week, Oscar Whisky may not even get his intended spin today as the all-weather National Hunt Flat race meeting at Kempton is subject to a precautionary inspection at 8am. Clerk of the course Barney Clifford said: “I’ve had to call an inspection because of the uncertainty in the forecasts.
“I thought it best to keep everyone in the loop. Snow flurries are the worry, we could get anything from one centimetre to six centimetres, and snow was the problem last week.”
Newbury are still hopeful that tomorrow’s Betfair Super Saturday meeting can beat the weather. The course is perfectly raceable at present, but snow is forecast this evening with temperatures due to dip tomorrow night. With the likes of Gold Cup winner Long Run, Arkle favourite Sprinter Sacre and Triumph hero Zarkandar all due to run, officials are desperate for the fixture to take place.