Watch Oscar Whisky's win with our Cheltenham review
Bookmakers taken by Whisky Champion claims
A NEW year brought a new contender for the Stan James Champion Hurdle after Oscar Whisky impressed bookmakers and connections with his victory at Cheltenham.
The six-year-old, who comes from the Nicky Henderson yard responsible for the last two winners of the Cheltenham championship, only needed to be shaken up after jumping the last in the 2m4½f hurdle to win on his first outing since last year's Festival.
William Hill was most taken by Oscar Whisky, cutting him to 12-1 (from 33).
Totesport introduced Oscar Whisky into their market at 14-1 with Stan James and Paddy Power offering the longest odds of 16-1.
With Tony McCoy due to partner Binocular in the Champion Hurdle in March, the ride on Oscar Whisky is likely to go to Henderson's stable jockey Barry Geraghty, who was delighted with the performance.
He said: "He's top drawer. It was encouraging to see him run like that and he won't have a problem with good ground."
Tom George: trains mover TartakPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Racingpost.com users were less confident of his Champion Hurdle credentials, however, with only 28 per cent viewing him as a genuine contender at 5.20pm on Saturday.
There were also movements in other Festival markets with Hell's Bay causing ripples in the betting for the Jewson Novices' Chase after his win in the Tigmi Travel Dipper Novices' Chase.
William Hill make him a 12-1 chance for the newest race at the Festival while Stan James and Paddy Power go 14-1.
Ladbrokes and Stan James also cut Finian's Rainbow for the Irish Independent Arkle after Hell's Bay franked the form with his win. The former go 8-1 (from 9) and the latter 7-1 (from 9).
Tartak's last-gasp success in the Victorchandler.com Chase saw him cut for the Ryanair Chase over the same course and distance in three month's time.
Stan James shortened the Tom George-trained runner to 14-1 (from 20) and William Hill cut his price to 16-1 (from 20).
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