Ccope puts Shishkin's Kempton return in doubt

Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Shishkin has scoped dirty, trainer Nicky Henderson revealed at Sandown on Friday.

Speaking to ITV, Henderson provided an update on the seven-year-old who was ruled out of Saturday's Betfair Tingle Creek Chase last week. The Seven Barrows trainer had said he felt Shishkin was “not quite there” and in agreement with jockey Nico de Boinville the decision was made to delay the reappearance of last season’s Arkle winner.

The decision prompted some criticism and a subsequently robust defence from Henderson, but on the eve of the Tingle Creek he said there was an issue with his tracheal wash. The issue puts in some doubt his expected return in the Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton on December 27.

Henderson said: “I’ve just had a call from home after we scoped him this morning and it’s a very good thing he’s not here. He has gone wrong, just with his tracheal wash, so thank goodness he is not here [at Sandown this weekend]. We were right.

“We’ll have to see [about Kempton]. Charlie [Morlock] has just rang me just to say we scoped him this morning and the figures are not good.”

There was little bookmaker reaction to Henderson’s update on one of the most exciting horses in training, with Shishkin – unbeaten in all nine completed starts under rules – the top-priced 7-4 favourite for the Champion Chase with Paddy Power and the Betfair Sportsbook.

All of Shishkin’s main market rivals are set to be in action on an important weekend for the two-mile chasing division, with Chacun Pour Soi, Nube Negra and Greaneteen featuring in the Tingle Creek, while Energumene, Allaho and Envoi Allen are in action at Cork and Punchestown on Sunday in the Hilly Way Chase and John Durkan Chase respectively.