Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin cut for the Arkle Novices’ Chase after flawless 23-length victory on his debut over fences at Kempton
- Henderson gave Shishkin 10 out of 10 for his steeplechasing debut at Kempton
- Nico De Boinville’s mount eased to a 23-length win from Mick Pastor on Monday
- Shishkin likely to head direct to Kempton for the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase
Nicky Henderson gave Shishkin 10 out of 10 for his steeplechasing debut at Kempton as the six-year-old was cut to 6-4 for the Arkle Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in March.
Nico De Boinville’s mount, winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at last season’s National Hunt Festival, produced a performance littered with spectacular jumps as he eased to a 23-length win from Mick Pastor.
Henderson won the equivalent beginners’ chase with his dual Champion Chase winner Altior in 2016. Altior then took in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown before returning to Kempton’s Christmas meeting to contest the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase. And Henderson indicated Shishkin was likely to head direct to the December 27 contest.
Shishkin (above) produced a flawless round of jumping to launch his own career over fences
Henderson said: ‘You have to give him praise and I thought it was 10 out of 10. He proved when he wants to be flamboyant he has loads of scope and going to the last fence there wasn’t a stride but he quickly worked it out.
‘He is nimble on his feet. He can do it both ways, which is what you are looking for in a first run over fences. We have had to do very little schooling with him but there wasn’t a lot of point, he was just very good from day one.
‘He is a natural two-miler.’
De Boinville added: ‘I loved how he quickened away and flicked his way over the last couple. I’m really looking forward to the season with him.
‘A lot of horses can go long at their jumps, but it is the ones who are just as quick in tight and can really dance on the board. Coneygree (2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner) was very similar on the board and that is where the true quality stands out.’
Henderson’s reigning Champion Hurdler Epatante heads the 10 entries for Saturday’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. The Lambourn trainer has also entered unbeaten mare Marie’s Rock, but her intended weekend target is the Gerry Feilden Handicap Hurdle at Newbury.