Nicky Henderson has confirmed Shishkin an intended runner in the Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park on Monday.
The Seven Barrows trainer had hoped to start off his season in the Tingle Creek at Sandown earlier this month, but felt last season’s Arkle winner was slightly off colour and he subsequently returned a dirty scope.
Shishkin returned to fast work last week, but Henderson wanted one more strong gallop before making a provisional Kempton entry.
While that happened on Tuesday and all went well, Henderson stressed the seven-year-old would still need a schooling session and further gallop before he could commit to running in the Grade Two feature.
And he was able to report on Friday morning: “We’ve had a good week with Shishkin and we have decided that he will run. He schooled really well yesterday, Nico (de Boinville) came in this morning to ride him again and he worked very nicely.
“We’ve got to get out there, he’s in great form.”