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    After Aintree's defeat, Shishkin 'will definitely go' for the Punchestown Gold Cup raid
After Aintree's defeat, Shishkin 'will definitely go' for the Punchestown Gold Cup raid
After Aintree's defeat, Shishkin 'will definitely go' for the Punchestown Gold Cup raid. Source: sportsmax.tv

After Aintree's defeat, Shishkin 'will definitely go' for the Punchestown Gold Cup raid

Nicky Henderson, who confirmed that six-time Grade 1 winner Shishkin will compete in the Punchestown Gold Cup on May 1, is anticipating an improved performance from a "sharper" Shishkin.

The ten-year-old's performance in the Bowl at Aintree last week gave the Lambourn trainer hope that he would build on it and end the challenging 2023–24 season on a high note. 

Shishkin's season began with a challenge in the King George that resulted in an unseat at Ascot. After winning the Denman Chase at Newbury in February, he returned to form, but Henderson's poor form caused him to withdraw his festival big guns, meaning he missed the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

This meant that Aintree had just finished a 61-day break, and Ireland was expecting better.

Henderson following Peaky Boy's victory at Cheltenham on Wednesday, said: “Shishkin will go to Punchestown. There's nothing for him over here now so he'll definitely go to Punchestown. He's ten now and he hasn't had a lot of racing this season because one day he didn't start, another he tripped up in the King George and then we couldn't run in the Gold Cup as we couldn't run anything. It means he's had a quiet season and we can afford to have two quick ones. At Aintree, I just think he wasn't quite sharp enough over three miles around there. The gaps appeared a few times for him, but the others were keeping him hemmed in a bit and he really just needed a gear to get out of those holes, which he didn't have. He'll be sharper around Punchestown, though”.

In the past five seasons, Henderson has had four winners out of fifteen runners at Punchestown.

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