Henderson looking towards Sandown with Shishkin

Shishkin is likely to finish his campaign in the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown on the final day of the jumps season.

Nicky Henderson’s charge relinquished his unbeaten record over fences when pulled up on testing ground in Wednesday’s Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Shishkin’s failure to finish left Energumene, whom he had previously beaten in an epic duel at Ascot, to take the title for Willie Mullins.

Henderson initially raised the idea of stepping up to two and a half miles at Aintree in the Melling Chase after watching his stable star’s eclipse, but the Seven Barrows handler admits that is unlikely, whilst also ruling out a trip to Punchestown and a third possible clash with Energumene.

He told Unibet: “Shishkin is a bit sore – I don’t know why. You’d have to say he didn’t seem happy from the word go, but I think that was purely ground.

“We’ve always said he’s a better horse on better ground. He was never travelling. He’ll be all right.

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“I think Aintree would come a bit quick for him anyway, so I’ll probably wait for Sandown on the last day and the Celebration Chase.

“I don’t really want to go to Ireland and I think we’ll leave the battle with Energumene at one-all for the season and meet up again next year.”

Henderson has won the Sandown Grade One on five previous occasions, including three times with Altior and once with Sprinter Sacre – his two-mile champions of recent years.

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