Energumene is reportedly on course for a mighty clash with Shishkin in the Sbk Clarence House Chase at Ascot later this month.
A mouthwatering showdown between the pair in last season’s Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham failed to materialise when the Willie Mullins-trained Energumene met with a setback.
But he maintained his unbeaten record over fences at Punchestown and reappeared in style at Cork in early December.
With Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin making a stylish return of his own at Kempton Park over Christmas, a box office head-to-head could be on the cards at the Berkshire track on January 22.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, told Sky Sports Racing: “We think Energumene is seriously good. We were sick not to have him declared in Leopardstown after choosing Chacun Pour Soi, but he’s entered at Ascot and that’s the plan at the moment.
“We chose Chacun for Christmas and we had to find a race for Energumene and that looks the ideal one for him.
“He looks a much better chaser than he was a hurdler or bumper horse, even though he was unexposed in those divisions. If you were here on the gallops there’s about three horses that take your eye every day, so until we see there’s a horse better than him we think he’s as good as anything.
“Every morning you see Energumene, he takes your eye. Even just his presence, he has a presence, he knows he’s good – and he is very good.”