Oscara Dara leads Buck Magic as he heads to victory at KemptonPICTURE: Getty Images
Oscara Dara storms to Lanzarote victory
Report: Kempton, Saturday
William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle (Listed) 4yo+, 2m5f
ONLY a last-hurdle wobble cast a shadow over an otherwise brilliant Lanzarote-winning performance by Oscara Dara at Kempton.
The Nicky Henderson-trained eight-year-old, ridden with great confidence by Barry Geraghty, was heading for a simple victory before he stumbled over the last flight, landing the other side on decidedly unsteady legs.
However, Oscara Dara quickly righted himself and picked up gamely for Geraghty on the run to the line.
He was reverting to hurdles having finished second last time out at Plumpton in what was his debut over fences, and Henderson said he would remain in this discipline for the rest of the season. Oscara Dara's record over the smaller obstacles is now three wins from four races.
Henderson said: "Plumpton was all right, but not good enough. I schooled him again this week and it wasn’t going to plan – he’s not comfortable enough over a fence.
"We have to stick over hurdles now. There’s no point bullying him over fences, but he is eight so maybe he’ll have some intensive schooling over the summer."
BetVictor introduced the winner to their Coral Cup market as a 10-1 shot.
In a thrilling final few furlongs Captain Sunshine came from deep in the field to threaten, but fell at the last moments after Oscara Dara had his own scare.
Romeo Americo, a 100-1 shot who was 2lb out of the handicap, was a surprise second after staying on smartly for Wayne Kavanagh.
The fancied Buck Magic, meanwhile, travelled well throughout and battled away with some pluck after Oscara Dara breezed past in the straight. He came home in third, four lengths behind the leader, and the Alan King-trained Araldur completed the places.