sport

Whisky's second shot

Connections of Oscar Whisky believe that the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham this weekend will confirm the horse's stamina.

The Nicky Henderson-trained eight-year-old is a dual winner of the Grade One Aintree Hurdle over two and a half miles and lines up at Prestbury Park unbeaten in two starts this season.

He has, however, yet to prove he is fully effective over three miles, having finished just fifth on his only start over that trip, in last season's Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

"He's in very good form," said owner Dai Walters.

"This is his key trial, and we'll know afterwards whether he's a genuine three-miler or not. Nicky has a lot of confidence that he is and he's the best horseman in the business.

"He just wasn't right in the World Hurdle when he last tried three miles - I think that was because he must have jarred himself when he fell at Ascot (in November 2011).

"There will be no excuses on Saturday.

"He's entered for the two races at the Cheltenham Festival.

"If it's very soft we could run him in the Champion Hurdle, but if it stays dry we'll go for the World Hurdle."