LiveScore Racing News: Shishkin and Energumene set for Ascot showdown

LiveScore
17/01/202217:00
Nicky Henderson has admitted his wariness of Energumene's threat to Shishkin at Ascot this weekend
Nicky Henderson has admitted his wariness of Energumene's threat to Shishkin at Ascot this weekend

Nicky Henderson's Shishkin and Willie Mullins' Energumene have been confirmed for Saturday's Clarence House Chase at Ascot in what is set to be a huge race between two of the stars of two-mile racing. 

It promises to be the biggest race of the jumps season so far between two horses who could genuinely become superstars. 

Eight-year-old Shishkin has already been hugely impressive, winning all nine of his races since the start of 2020. 

Highlight victories include the Arkle Challenge at the Cheltenham Festival in March and the Novices' Chase at Aintree a month later. 

He returned for his seasonal reappearance in December in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton and picked up exactly where he left off, beating Tingle Creek winner Greaneteen by a massive 10 lengths. 

His spectacular form has led to comparisons with former stablemate Altior, who dominated the two-mile scene for such a long time. 

On Saturday though, he is set for arguably his toughest assignment yet as he faces rival Energumene in the Grade One Clarence House Chase. 

Willie Mullins' star has, like Shishkin, won all of his races since the start of 2020 while he was victorious in the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown last year. 

Energumene offers a big threat to Shishkin's unbeaten run
Energumene offers a big threat to Shishkin's unbeaten run

He also returned to action with a win, taking first place in the Grade Two Hilly Way Chase at Cork last month. 

The duo were due to meet in the Arkle last year but late issues meant Energumene had to pull out. 

Speaking about Shishkin on Monday, Henderson revealed he will not be put under too much pressure between now and the race. 

He said: "He won't be doing much between now and the race, I think, he doesn't need to do much anyway.

"Nico [de Boinville] might feel he wants to jump a fence on him midweek at some stage, but he also might think there's nothing to gain from that either, so we'll see. 

"I'd prefer it if there was a ferry strike in Ireland or something, but it doesn't look like there will be!" 

Last year's winner First Flow is also in contention and is dropping back down to two miles after winning the Peterborough Chase last time out. 

Paul Nicholls' Hitman and Dan Skelton's Amoola Gold complete the five-strong field.

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