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Camilla Henderson: The great Oscar Whisky is missed this Christmas

Our guest blogger on Christmas at a busy racing stable, former Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth trip to Ireland for Sunday's Lexus Chase and the hole left at Seven Barrows by Oscar Whisky

by Camilla Henderson | December 25, 2014

Missing our dearest friend, Oscar

It is not nice for anyone to lose a horse, and anyone who has lost one close to them will understand the heartbreak you go through, especially when it happens so suddenly and unexpectedly.

Losing Oscar Whisky in the Tingle Creek Chase on December 6 after suffering a fatal hind leg injury has been a massive blow to the Henderson team. It is like losing a member of the family, and he was definitely part of it. (Oscar Whisky picture below by Toby Connors).

Oscar Whisky

Oscar was the first horse which my father bought for Dai Walters back in 2009, following this Dai has had more and more horses in training with us. Oscar was the starter marker for what now is a great owner / trainer relationship.

Oscar was undoubtedly and obviously one of the stable stars, not just because of his talent but because of his kind nature and character, everyone was so fond of him. He was loved by all, and had a place in everybody’s hearts.

Barry Geraghty celebrates with Nicky Henderson 25/4/2008

Barry Geraghty paid tribute to him, labeling him the real ‘warrior’, for being go genuine and tough, and said there were very few horses he rode more winners on. The morale has defiantly been down since losing Oscar and my father was extremely saddened and upset by this loss.

The happy memories that stand out for us would have been his two John Smith Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) wins in 2011 and 2012 and his third to Hurricane Fly in the 2011 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. His last win was at Sandown in February this year, when he claimed the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase.

He won 16 of his 28 career starts, earning over £500,000 in win and place prize-money. He never let anyone down and always tried his heart out, he provided us with many days of joy, so we will cherish these fond memories.

My father’s Christmas present was a beautiful blown-up picture of Oscar for the kitchen. Yes, there are more pictures of horses than his daughters in the house!

Seven Barrows at Christmas

There is so much racing on around the next seven days it can be rather hectic in the household – our main job is to try and de-stress and help NJH. Often that means that I stay out of the way!

Our former Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth (below) is flying to Ireland this Saturday to run in the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday.

He has been working well at home, the only question will be the fact this is his first time out this season. He won this race nicely last season but did have one run under his belt. It will be a test but we have all hope for him.

Bobs Worth

Bobs Worth is flying over to Ireland on Saturday (no more ferries left) and runs in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday. He has been working well at home, the only question will be the fact this is his first time out this season. He won this race nicely this time last year, however he had one run under his belt previous in November, so, while it will be a test, we have all hope for him.

Sprinter Sacre has turned a corner

Sprinter Sacre has been going well at home, and NJH believes he has turned a corner. He’s been looking spritely and dashing, strutting his stuff with Nico de Boinville his work rider. He goes to Newbury on Monday to have a racecourse gallop and school over fences before racing as part of his preparation towards a return to competitive action at Ascot next month.

This will be his first public appearance since last December and will be in the paddock at 11.30am.

Sprinter Sacre

According to NJH:

Sprinter will have a lead horse, although we haven’t selected one for that job at this stage. We’re also working out the logistics of the work, regarding distance and fences to jump, and I’ll talk that over with Barry (Geraghty) and Nico de Boinville.

I’m sure further plans will be made after this racecourse gallop to see his response to the outing and how he comes out of it.

Camilla x

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