Clarence House Chase 2022 Entries: Shishkin and Energumene set for epic clash at Ascot

Shishkin Cheltenham

Shishkin and Energumene both feature among the five entries received for Saturday's Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot. We take a look at the five-runner field here...

Dual Cheltenham Festival and reigning Arkle Challenge Trophy winner Shishkin is set for an epic clash with Irish star two-miler Energumene in Saturday's Clarence House Chase, which is set to be an epic trial for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. With a record of six wins out of six over fences, the former Supreme Novices' Hurdle stormed back into the limelight at Kempton over the Christmas period as he sauntered to victory in the Desert Orchid Chase. With trainer Nicky Henderson airing on the side of caution in the aftermath of the Desert Orchid win in terms of Shishkin's next outing, it appears that the Seven Barrows handler is set to unleash his stable superstar this weekend.

Following on from his dominant Kempton victory, Shishkin cemented his place at the head of the ante-post betting for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, and a victory here would solidify his position on top spot, but in Energumene he will have a rival oozing potential, and he heads across from Willie Mullins's Closutton yard with a huge reputation, as he looks to put it up to the Henderson hotpot.

Cheltenham Festival 2022

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Like Shishkin, Energumene has an unbeaten record over fences, as he has recorded five wins from his five outings over the larger obstacles, and he showed when winning the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown Festival by 16 lengths that he could be a real top class performer.

A facile winner of the Hilly Way Chase at Cork on his seasonal reappearance, Energumene is currently second favourite for the Champion Chase, but if he can potentially upset Shishkin here then he could well be challenging for festival favouritism come the end of Saturday.

Both chasers have shown to be phenomenal talents over fences, and National Hunt fans will be licking their lips at the thought of the pair doing battle, so let's hope both hold their ground at Thursday's declaration stage, and we can see the epic duel.

The other three entries certainly add significant depth to the race, and Kim Bailey's First Flow was last seen bounding to an impressive victory in the Peterborough Chase, and he could well be the biggest rival to Shishkin and Energumene.

Paul Nicholls has trained the winner of this race five times and he will saddle Hitman, who was last seen chasing home stablemate Greaneteen in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park, while the Dan Skelton-trained Amoola Gold completes the line-up.

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