Jockey Robbie Power has praised connections of both Shishkin and Energumene after a blockbuster clash between the star chasers was rubber-stamped with both declared for the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
The former Gold Cup and Grand National winner said the focus shouldn’t always be on the Cheltenham Festival and that the Ascot feature this weekend should always include the leading contenders. Have watch, below!
A HUGE race on Saturday – the Clarence House Chase – in the 3.35 Ascot!
Shishkin v Energumene, what a battle this going to be in a blockbuster clash
Who does @Robbie_Power_ fancy to come out on top?
— BoyleSports (@BoyleSports) January 20, 2022
“Nobody wants to blot their copybook before the Festival and that happens too often,” Power said, speaking to BoyleSports on Thursday.
“This is a Grade One race worth £150,000, it deserves to have these two horses clashing and it shouldn’t be all about Cheltenham.
“It’s great that they’ll lock horns before Cheltenham and this is the stiffest task that both of them will have faced,” he added.
Power also said what way he expects the race to pan out, favouring the Irish raider who has yet to be beaten over obstacles.
“Energumene was very impressive when he won the Hilly Way Chase down at Cork in testing conditions. I just think Ascot is really going to suit him, it’s a stiff track and his jumping has been very good.
“Shishkin was good at Kempton too, but he just hit a flat spot turning in, he won’t be able to afford that this time.
“My one worry with Energumene would be that First Flow is going to take him on. He was aggressively ridden when he won this race last year and if David Bass can keep tabs on Energumene early on, he’s the one who could cause Paul Townend the most problems by forcing him to do a bit too much.
“From the first day I saw Energumene he took my breath away. That’s not to say Shishkin hasn’t, but I have to give slight preference to Energumene.”
Want more racing tips for Cheltenham from Robbie? Of course you do. Check out the below races!
Meanwhile, Bob Olinger remains the ante post favourite to win the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Remember, always gamble responsibly. Here’s our Safer Gambling Guide.
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