sport

Oscar team seek revenge

Owner Dai Walters is hopeful Oscar Whisky can exact his revenge upon Taquin Du Seuil at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

Nicky Henderson's charge was an odds-on favourite to beat the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Taquin Du Seuil when the pair met at Prestbury Park in November, but in a race run at a crawl, the latter won by a neck in a sprint finish.

Oscar Whisky returned to Cheltenham a month later and made every yard of the running to get off the mark over fences, getting the better of the talented Wonderful Charm.

Taquin Du Seuil was last seen finishing third behind Hinterland in the Grade One Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown.

Walters said: "I spoke to Nicky on Monday and he tells me Oscar is in really good form.

"We've got Jonjo's horse to beat and I'm sure Tony McCoy (Taquin Du Seuil's jockey) will be hoping the race plays out the same way as it did the last time they met, but it won't, I can assure you.

"I would imagine we'll have to go and try and make all the running as he did on his last run.

"It's not his ideal way of running, but Oscar can do that."

Walters hinted Oscar Whisky is more likely to run in the Jewson Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival than come back in distance for the Arkle.

He said: "I think we'll stick at two and a half miles. That is his best trip.

"I think we'll just take it one race at a time. As soon as you start making definite plans things seem to start going wrong."

Oscar Whisky and Taquin Du Seuil feature among four runners in the Grade Two Cheltenham Pony Club Raceday Novices' Chase, better known as 'The Dipper'.

David Pipe's Close House and Timesawastin from Evan Williams' yard complete the quartet.