Oscar Whisky beats Thousand Stars at Aintree
©Healy Racing Photos
Nicky Henderson-trained duo Oscar Whisky and Darlan feature among eight confirmations for the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.
The Grade Two contest was reopened for 24 hours on Monday and Oscar Whisky is undoubtedly the star name among the potential runners.
The seven-year-old has won 11 times from 15 career starts and was last seen successfully defending his crown in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle in April.
His stablemate Darlan has been left in having missed Sunday's Racing Post Hurdle at Cheltenham on account of the testing ground, but the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on December 1 is his likely target.
Oscar Whisky is set to share top-weight with Jonjo O'Neill's Get Me Out Of Here, who made a winning return at Kempton a month ago.
The second home that day, Paul Nicholls' Brampour, may renew rivalries this weekend.
Alan King could saddle Raya Star, who impressed on his seasonal comeback at Ascot three weeks ago, while Lamb Or Cod could be set for a jump in class having won Chepstow's Silver Trophy on his debut for the Philip Hobbs yard.
The field is completed by Paul Webber's talented mare Alasi and Stuart Crawford's potential Irish challenger Now This Is It.