Shishkin set for Rehearsal Chase after refusing to run on seasonal reappearance
Shishkin left six-time champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson with an almighty headache ahead of the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day when he refused to run on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot on Sunday.
The legendary Lambourn handler had hoped to use the Grade 2 contest as a warm-up for the King George but Shishkin, who has always been somewhat temperamental and was wearing cheekpieces for the first time, had other ideas and was unwilling to budge at the start line, with jockey Nico de Boinville helpless to get him going.
That meant Henderson was forced to quickly find a new prep race for Shishkin, with the 73-year-old taking to social media site X, formerly Twitter, to confirm he would head up north for Saturday’s Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle.
"Just to keep everybody informed, Shishkin will run in the Rehearsal Chase on Saturday,” he wrote.
“Everything is fine with him, and he’ll travel up to Newcastle on Friday with Constitution Hill.”
Meanwhile, Constitution Hill is set to make his seasonal reappearance at the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at the same meeting.
It will be the second year in a row the undefeated Champion Hurdle winner will begin in Newcastle, with Henderson opting to keep the six-year-old over hurdles rather than send him chasing.
Elsewhere, the highly-rated Jeriko Du Reponet is set to make his debut for Henderson at Newbury on Friday after the Seven Barrows team acquired the four-year-old over the summer.