From starting the season as a 2 mile Novice Chaser at Plumpton to finishing off with a run in the Stayer’s Hurdle at Aintree (via the Lanzarote & World Hurdle!) it’s fair to say it has been an interesting season for Oscara Dara and his owners!
The 8yo has given his owners a fantastic time of it over the 2012/13 season and with news on the gelding’s run at Aintree as well as plans for next season it’s over to Mr Phil Boyle…
The last article of the season for me here! You may have noticed (I will forgive you if you missed it, there was another pretty big race the same day), but Oscara Dara took in his second grade 1 of the season 10 days ago at Aintree.
It was a pretty tough race given that the first three from the World Hurdle were joined by two festival handicap winners and the runner up in the novices staying championship, the Albert Bartlett!
What we found out from Aintree was that some horses can repeat their Cheltenham form (Sprinter Sacre, Cue Card, Solwhit etc) and some cannot (Oscara Dara amongst others). Unfortunately our lad ran like he needed a holiday and so that is what we need to give him now!
It was another special day to be on course as an owner. Before racing we walked around the whole of the National Course and had photos in front of all the famous fences in what was just another one of those “money cannot buy” experiences that you get from being in this ownership game!
We were hoping for a better pace of race in the Liverpool Hurdle from what we got at Cheltenham and we got it, but sadly it was to no avail as the season had obviously left a mark on Oscara Dara and he ran well below what we know he is capable of. Unfortunately it also seems as though he is stuck in no-mans-land over hurdles as he is rated so high that he will be top weight in most handicaps, whilst probably not being quite good enough to contend in grade races.
It seems sensible therefore to look to Novice Chasing again next season. Thankfully, not having won over fences, he stays a novice and whilst he will be a pretty old novice, he should be competitive back at this level. We are pretty confident that two and a half or three mile pace will help, as the speed of his jumping will not be so critical and with some schooling, we are all hoping that he could prove successful.
First though we need to give him a good summer off. He will have plenty of rest and fingers crossed, some sun on his back, to give him every chance of coming in fit and raring to go next season.
I will of course keep you posted here and all are welcome to follow our progress over on my blog at http://bgracing.wordress.com
All the best
Thanks as always to Phil for his excellent article and there is more on the BG Racing partnership on Phil’s own Blog – http://bgracing.wordpress.com
Many thanks to Phil for his wonderful series of articles throughout this season. Personally I have found it a real joy to follow the ups and downs of OSCARA DARA, both on the track and through the eyes of Phil here on the blog. Hopefully you have all also enjoyed the updates and join me in wishing that Oscara has a safe and happy summer and returns fit and well next season for us all to enjoy his exploits here on the NTF Blog.