Nicky Henderson: undecided what to do with Ascot winner Oscar WhiskyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Henderson set to unleash Champion Hurdle team
NICKY HENDERSON is set to unleash his three main Champion Hurdle contenders within the next four weeks while he considers his best move with Saturday's outstanding Coral Hurdle winner Oscar Whisky.
Darlan, who missed the Racing Post Hurdle because of the ground, is earmarked for this weekend's Fighting Fifth Hurdle, Grandouet could reappear at Cheltenham the following Saturday while Binocular waits for the Christmas Hurdle on December 26.
But there is an outside chance Oscar Whisky, who has become a 2m4f specialist, could enter calculations for the Stan James sponsored prize if conditions came up soft at Cheltenham in March.
"Darlan is going to the Fighting Fifth, Grandouet will go to the International at Cheltenham and Binocular will be looking to the Christmas Hurdle and if we run two in the Christmas Hurdle so be it," Henderson said on Sunday.
"Oscar Whisky at the moment would stick to two and a half because he is so good at that distance. There's not many horses going to beat him at that.
"There are a couple of options at Cheltenham, then the Welsh Champion Hurdle, then Aintree, they are all on the agenda. Dai Walters [owner] and I talked about it all summer and decided we'd might just skip Cheltenham but the only thing is if it did come up soft at Cheltenham you'd have to think about it and go two miles.
"When you see him skipping round like that you wonder how he can't stay three miles. He finished very distressed at the end of Cheltenham (after the World Hurdle over three miles in March) so it goes through the mind was it as simple as not staying? You can't believe he doesn't when you see what he did yesterday. He annihilated them.
"We don't have to make a decision now but if it was very soft you'd have to seriously think about going two miles. He'd have beaten them at two yesterday."