Livescore Racing News: Duo to collide at Ascot

LiveScore
20/01/202217:30
Energumene is formidable over fences
Energumene is formidable over fences

Racing fans can look forward to Saturday's card at Ascot with excitement as both Shishkin and Energumene were confirmed for the SBK Clarence House Chase.

The high-profile duo were named among the declarations on Thursday, with Kim Bailey's First Flow and Dan Skelton's Amoola Gold completing the field for the Grade 1 contest. 

Nicky Henderson's Shishkin suffered health issues during the autumn, but he made a thrilling return to the track, winning the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton last month. 

The eight-year-old beat Greanteen, Sky Pirate and Before Midnight on December 27, and fans have anticipated connections' next move ever since. 

After weeks of speculation, the Sholokhov gelding will now run at Ascot as he bids to extend his unbeaten record over fences. 

However, Willie Mullins' Energumene will pose a serious threat, winning each of his seven starts for the iconic Irish handler. 

Energumene is five from five over fences, and fans will now get the showdown they have dreamed of. 

The duo should have met in the Arkle at Cheltenham last March, but Energumene suffered an injury that ruled him out of the Festival. 

Shiskin went on to win the race, and Henderson says he will make "no excuses" if his stable star cannot produce the goods. 

He told Sky Sports Racing: "We've tried to organise a ferry strike all week but failed! 

"I don't suppose any of us expected that we'd be stupid enough to take each other on this early in the season, but it's the race we wanted to go for, and Willie wants to come too. 

"There's Kim Bailey's horse as well, so that will at least guarantee a really good gallop. Last year, Energumene didn't come over to Cheltenham and consequently gave Shishkin a rather easier Arkle that it might have been. 

"The clash was going to have to happen sooner or later. I don't think it necessarily tells you who will win the Champion Chase, but one thing is for certain: Whoever wins on Saturday will be favourite come March, but that doesn't mean an awful lot. 

"[Shishkin] still has got a bit to prove, but we're going to find out a lot more this weekend." 

Tiger Roll is set to be back in action
Tiger Roll is set to be back in action

Thursday was a big day for declarations in general, with two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll set to return to the track on Saturday. 

Gordon Elliott's charge, who won the National at Aintree in 2018 and 2019, will run at Navan in the Navan Handicap Hurdle. 

Tiger Roll has not run in a handicap hurdle since 2016, but connections believe he still has what it takes to win at the highest level. 

The 12-year-old was pulled up at Aintree in December and fans of Tiger Roll will hope to see an improved performance ahead of another busy campaign.

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