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"If it’s not right, we won’t run" - Good ground could scupper Shishkin Tingle Creek return

30 Nov 2022
Jon Vine 30 Nov 2022
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  • We bring you key quotes from Nicky Henderson ahead of the 2022 Tingle Creek
  • This Grade One Chase takes place at Sandown on Saturday 3rd December
  • Shishkin is due to make his first appearance since pulling up in the Champion Chase
  • Henderson said on Tuesday that his star would only run if the ground was right
Trainer Nicky Henderson parades Shishkin during a stable tour. (Getty)

Nicky Henderson has poured doubt on Shishkin's intended return to action in Saturday's Tingle Creek Chase.
Shishkin's unbeaten run over fences came to an end at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Torrential rain on the day of the race turned the Cheltenham ground heavy and Shishkin looked uncomfortable from flag-fall. Nico De Boinville pulled his mount up after just two shocking jumps, leaving the path clear for Energumene to hand Willie Mullins his first Champion Chase win.

Following that run, vet's discovered that Shishkin was suffering from a rare bone condition. At the start of the season, Nicky Henderson was eyeing a return at Kempton Christmas Meeting, but after impressing his trainer in recent weeks, Shishkin was entered for this Saturday's Tingle Creek Chase.

The excitement that confirmation caused was deadened when Henderson spoke to the press on Tuesday. 

"I cannot believe Sandown is going to go from abandoned half-way through the last meeting to fast ground in less than four weeks!" Henderson exclaimed.

"The intention is to run Shishkin but if it’s not right for him we won’t."

"We’re very happy with him, as we are with Jonbon, but if the ground got quick neither would run."

"There’s no rain in the forecast and it would have to be on the easier side, so we’ll have to wait and see later in the week."

"It’s a super race at the entries and Nico felt he was spot on when he rode him on Friday."

Having been odds-on to win the Tingle Creek at the weekend, Shishkin is now a 6/4 shot with race-sponsors Betfair, who have defending Champion Greaneteen as their even-money favourite. 

Shishkin's stablemate, Jonbon is odds-on to win the Henry VIII Novices' Chase on Saturday but, if the groundstaff at Sandown can't slow down the ground, it sounds like both of Henderson's stars will be saved for the Kempton Christmas Festival.


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