Very few Bumper horses attracted more attention than Oscar Rock last season and punters will finally be able to get another look at him on Friday afternoon. The five-year-old won two of his three bumper starts last season, including last time out at Newbury in February, and now looks set to make his return to the track on Friday at Wetherby in a novice hurdle.
Those Bumper successes came under the care of Harry Fry in Dorset but after a rethink from the owners, Oscar Rock was moved to the Malcolm Jefferson yard over the Summer. Jefferson has been delighted with the horse since he arrived at Newstead Cottage and connections will be confident when he runs in the National Hunt Novices Hurdle on Friday afternoon over 2m4f.
Oscar Rock bypassed the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham last season with connections looking to keep him fresh for a novice hurdle campaign. A good performance at Wetherby will only serve to heighten the hype surrounding the horse with many already believing he is a star of the future. Jefferson has certainly made no secret of his delight over the arrival of the five-year-old who has clearly been working well at home.
Oscar Rock is already the ante post favourite in the Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle betting and with most firms currently going as short as 12/1 about him winning, That price could contract even further if he produces a nice performance on Friday with some decent types set to oppose him. Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson has a number of horses entered at this stage while Paul Nicholls, David Pipe and Jonjo O'Neill also currently have runners engaged.
All eyes will be on Oscar Rock though as one of the most talked about horses in training finally gets the chance to prove his class on the track. The two day Wetherby meeting is always a key early season fixture with the Charlie Hall Chase on Saturday the clear of the highlight.