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Oscar's on course for Sandown

NICKY HENDERSON is likely to point Oscar Whisky towards a prep at Sandown after he strengthened his Festival claims with a clear-cut defeat of Taquin Du Seuil in the Cheltenham Pony Club Raceday Novices' Chase by three-quarters of a length.

The 5/6 winner, formerly very smart over hurdles, will probably head for the Jewson Novices' Chase in March but will also be given an entry in the Arkle Trophy.

Henderson said: "He's on the older side to be switching to fences at nine, and I must wish him happy birthday, but he's taken to it well. He's a stuffy horse so we'll probably give him another run. It could be in the Scilly Isles (at Sandown).

"Remembering he wasn't that far off Champion Hurdle class we'll put him in the Arkle as well, and that would be an option if it came up soft."

Henderson issued a further bulletin on Sprinter Sacre, who is to canter on Friday. He said: "It's all good, but Friday is the crucial day when Celia (Marr, specialist) will come down from Newmarket with a heart monitor."


Cork is still good to go

Hopes are high Cork's jumps meeting will go ahead on Saturday after the course passed an inspection earlier today.

Waterlogging had been the problem but the track is raceable and no further inspections are planned unless the weather deteriorates.

"They are happy enough racing can go ahead at present, but there is an unsettled forecast, so they are going to keep an eye on it," said Irish Turf Club press officer Cliff Noone. "The track is fit for racing so all we can do is monitor the situation."

The going is described as heavy.