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Oscar Whisky - Newbury 16.12.09

Oscar Whisky: could run for course founder Dai Walters at Ffos Las

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Ffos Las steps in to stage Tolworth Hurdle

FFOS LAS will stage the  Blue Square Tolworth Hurdle, which was due to be run at Sandown last Saturday.

Sandown's meeting was abandoned due to the icy weather that is gripping Britain and Ireland, but Ffos Las is hopeful of staging the meeting, which will now feature the Grade 1 contest, on a card that also features the SIS Live Welsh Champion Hurdle, with defending Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle winner, Punjabi, one of 12 entered.

Henderson could also saddle leading fancy for the Tolworth, the unbeaten Oscar Whisky, who is owned by Ffos Las founder Dai Walters.

Colin Owens, general manager of Ffos Las racecourse, said: "We are serving up a real feast of jump racing on Saturday. It will be fantastic - not only for everyone who comes to the racecourse, but also for those watching Channel 4 Racing. All we need now is a little bit of luck with the weather."

Clerk of the course, Tim Long, was on Tuesday afternoon hopeful Saturday's meeting would beat the weather. He said: "We've had some snow today, but it's thawed and we just have odd bits in places on the course.

"Having the snow is no bad thing at the moment as it offers some protection to the course, we just need temperatures to get up tomorrow [Wednesday] like they have today [Tuesday] so we can clear it.

"It's forecast to get up to +3c on Wednesday so we're hopeful of getting the snow cleared then sheeting down either last thing, or on Thursday."

Long added: "We're all but raceable on the hurdles course, there's a couple of patches of frost on the chase course but we still have a fair chance of racing on Saturday and are doing everything we can."

Alan Delmonte, operations director of the Horserace Betting Levy Board, said: "The Levy Board is making a significant contribution to enable the transfer of the race. It is not usually cost effective in levy terms to transfer big races, but this one has terrestrial TV coverage, it provides a key opportunity at this time of year and Saturday is important for Ffos Las and for jumping, given the recent weather.

"We would ask connections of entered horses to give the race every support."

 
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