Our sole runner at Carlisle yesterday, Oscars Den was a very short-priced favourite to follow up his recent impressive hurdling debut success at Uttoxeter and maintain his unbeaten record under rules, having won his bumper at Lingfield Park at the turn of the year.
A little keen in the early stages, he jumped the first few flights well but, in the second half of the contest, his hurdling was far less fluent and and mistakes at the third last and second last meant Richard Johnson had to get serious on him between the final two flights. Thankfully, a good leap at the last sealed things and the pair went on to record a three-length success.
Though not nearly as impressive in victory as he had been at Uttoxeter, it was very hard work at Carlisle in the deep ground and, going forward, Richard suggested a flatter track and a sounder surface would suit.
With two novice wins under his belt, we may now look to step Oscars Den up in grade, with the Grade 2 Rossington Main novice hurdle at Haydock Park on Saturday 18th January one of a few options to consider.