Shiskin warms up for the Arkle at Cheltenham with easy Doncaster victory


“He was good and as far as I’m concerned, it was what we wanted.”

Shiskin eased to another victory in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster to remain unbeaten over fences.


Shiskin cruised alongside Eldorado Allen coming up to the fourth last before heading his rival easily enough on the long run-in.

The 1/7F won by over eight lengths at the finish.

“It’s a no-win situation really,” trainer Nicky Henderson said after the race.

“He had to do what he did otherwise everyone is disappointed, Obviously he’s not going to run again now and he doesn’t need to.

“He was good and as far as I’m concerned, it was what we wanted.

“Nico said they went a good gallop, the ground was hard work but he jumped accurately.

Altior and Sprinter Sacre

Despite obvious comparisons to Henderson’s previous top class two-mile chasers, Altior and Sprinter Sacre, the English trainer believes that Shiskin’s ability to switch on and off in a race differs from the other two.

“This lad won the Supreme, like Altior, but Sprinter was only third under Mr McCoy, as he was at the time.

“He’s different to the other two in a lot of ways as he doesn’t tank through races, he’s very amenable, just as he is in his work. The other two were bruisers, they want every canter to be a gallop.

“It actually makes things a little easier with him as you press the button to go faster, but you can flick the switch off.


Henderson was very impressed with Shiskin’s performance today, with all roads now leading to the Arkle at Cheltenham in March.

“As soon as he went upsides today, he breezed past and the second is not a bad horse, let’s be fair, but he waltzed past.

“You can’t do any more than he did and I can say I’m mighty relieved. I’ve just spoken to (owner) Joe Donnelley and he said he’d never been so nervous.

“We had little to gain today and everything to lose, but it’s over and hopefully he gets there in one piece.”

Shiskin is an 8/11 price generally for the Arkle in March.

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