Nicky Henderson has expressed that Shishkin is ‘almost certain’ to go to the 1965 Chase at Ascot on Saturday, instead of the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock.
The nine-year-old has won nine of his twelve outings over fences and made the transition to a longer distance when taking the Grade 1 Ascot Chase over 2m5f in mid-February.
Shishkin was successful in ten straight outings over two miles from 2020 to 2022, including victories in the Grade 1 Supreme Novice Hurdle and Grade 1 Arkle Trophy Chase at back to back Cheltenham Festivals.
Nicky Henderson has indicated that Shishkin will be heading to the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, and the gelding appears to be as talented over longer distance. He recorded a comfortable victory over Ahoy Senor in the Grade 1 Aintree Bowl Chase in April before the summer break and is expected to be competitive on seasonal reappearance.
"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that two-miles-five around Ascot is going to suit him better than three miles in the soft at Haydock," said Henderson.
"The ground at Ascot will be preferable and he's almost certain to go there. He's won a two-mile-five race there and we know he likes it [the track].
"This is a prep race for the King George and we want to win it.
"He didn't travel as well as he might in his races last season and I think we might put some cheek pieces on him. We've schooled him in them and they help keep his mind on it."