oscar time, one of the unluckiest horses in recent Grand National history, continues his comeback on The Yorkshire Post’s ladies night at Wetherby.
Second to Ballabriggs in the 2011 Aintree renewal when the winning jockey Jason Maguire broke the whip rules, Oscar Time was vying for the lead on the run to the final fence two years later before Auroras Encore pulled clear to record a famous victory for Yorkshire.
Yet Oscar Time, favourite for the concluding hunter chase that celebrates the 10th anniversary of satellite TV channel Racing UK, suffered an injury at Aintree and is only just returning to competitive action.
Owned by Robert Waley-Cohen, the 13-year-old veteran won a point-to-point race on May 5 before recording a comfortable victory at Uttoxeter.
As always, he will be ridden by the owner’s son Sam – a successful City businessman when not riding his family’s horses to success.
“He got injured when he lost his shoe at Becher’s second time round in last year’s National,” said Waley-Cohen senior.
“He’s fit and well. He’s ready to run and might as well enjoy himself. Two-and-a-half miles is a very short trip, but it will not inconvenience him. Even though Uttoxeter was Oscar Time’s first win since we acquired the horse, we’ve had a hell of a lot of fun with him.”
The Waley-Cohen horses are in a rich vein of form – the orange and brown colours were recently carried to victory in eight successive races on the Flat, under National Hunt rules and in the point-to-point sphere.
The winning run only ended when the family’s horse of a lifetime Long Run, the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, could only finish ninth in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris.
He is now recovering at the Waley-Cohen farm after being left distressed by the Parisian heat.
Wetherby’s season-ending meeting will see 19-time champion jockey AP McCoy look to continue his flying start to the new season on the aptly-named Bespoke Lady in the Life & Style Novices’ Hurdle.
The Yorkshire Post Magazine Handicap Chase is more competitive with the admirably consistent Little Jimmy having a favourite’s chance. From his last five starts, he has won once – and finished second on the four other occasions.
Meanwhile, Tom Scudamore, McCoy’s nearest pursuer in the title race, will be disappointed if Broadway Buffalo does not win the novice chase.
Former jump jockey Peter Niven’s Clever Cookie, a winner at the Dante festival for the Malton trainer, will reappear in Saturday’s Listed Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup at York.