Ascot Chase: Brilliant Shishkin back to his best

 

Ascot Chase: Brilliant Shishkin back to his best

After returning to his best with an impressive wide-margin victory in the Betfair Ascot Chase, Shishkin rose to the top of the betting odds for the Ryanair Chase.

Under Nico de Boinville, the nine-year-old jumped well throughout his first attempt at two miles and five furlongs. He then galloped clear of longtime leader Pic D’Orhy between the final two fences for a popular victory.

Paddy Power went 11-10 (from 7-2) and Betfair Sportsbook made Shishkin the 5-4 favourite (from 7-2) to win the Ryanair at the Cheltenham Festival next month.

De Boinville told ITV Racing: “I said to the guv’nor [Nicky Henderson] before we came out that we’d know our fate after two fences. He went down to the first and really latched on to the bridle, that’s exactly what I wanted to see. He stayed all the way the line and that was much more like it. I’m over the moon. He felt fantastic and that puts him spot on for Cheltenham.”

Henderson saw his star return to his best after being pulled up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase last year and finishing a disappointing third in the Tingle Creek Chase in December. It was his fourth Ascot Chase victory, and he was clearly emotional about it.

He said: “He’s a very, very good horse and everybody has done their bit. It’s nearly Sprinter Sacre all over again. The Tingle Creek wasn’t a disaster but we knew we had to do different things. We were trying a new trip and it had to happen today. He was brilliant.”

Pic D’Orhy finished second by 16 lengths, and 7-4 favourite Fakir D’Oudairies held on for third despite never posing a threat.

 

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