Tizzard star strolls to comfortable success on festival warm-up
Finian's Oscar enjoyed some match practice but his Cheltenham Festival target remained undetermined after he strolled to his third victory over hurdles.
Carrying an 8lb penalty the Ann and Alan Potts-owned novice made short work of the burden to see off the challenge of the mare Taws in the Listed race stablemate Native River won two years ago.
Finian's Oscar is favourite for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, for which he remained unchanged on 3-1 with Paddy Power, but is also engaged in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle. But trainer Colin Tizzard indicated he would wait until nearer the festival before deciding which race to aim for.
"There was not a lot to be gleaned from that as all the others were frightened off by him and it hasn't really told us anything we didn't already know," he said.
"It's showed us he is well within himself and he will go to Cheltenham for either the Supreme or the Neptune - it will have to be talked about in the coming days which one he will run in.
"Native River won this race back in 2015 and if this horse turns out to be as good we will all be very happy."
Tom O'Brien took Finian's Oscar to the front as early as the third hurdle and while Taws chased them hard all the way the 1-16 favourite only needed mild stoking on the run-in to win by four and a half lengths.
The only drama occurred at the third flight in the back straight where Whatmore dived through the wing, giving jockey Paddy Brennan a nasty fall.