Matt Chapman: Shishkin’s going to annihilate Energumene in the Clarence House Chase

Matt's all in on Shishkin.

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The Clarence House Chase is shaping up to be the race of the season so far after Shishkin and Energumene were declared to run.

A titanic clash is on the cards as the leading two-milers put their unbeaten records over fences on the line in Saturday’s Grade 1 at Ascot.

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Nicky Henderson sends Shishkin into battle after a stunning victory on seasonal reappearance in the Desert Orchid Chase over Christmas, while Willie Mullins sends over Energumene following a comfortable success in last month’s Hilly Way Chase at Cork.

Shishkin is the favourite to win the Clarence House Chase, and Paddy Power pundit Matt Chapman is expecting the British-trained charge to cruise to inflict a big defeat on his rival.

Matt Chapman:

“I don’t think this is going to be a match up at all, it’s going to be an absolute annihilation. People have got totally carried away with Energumene and his form doesn’t stack up to anything like Shishkin’s.

“There’ll be a good gallop set by First Flow or Energumene and Shishkin will just stick in behind and pick them up close to home. I don’t think Energumene’s going to rally once Shishkin goes past. The slightly longer distance than two miles is also going to play right into his hands. I think he’s a certainty.

“Shishkin runs just like Altior, he does all his best work in the final two furlongs. If he wasn’t the outstanding two miler, just like Altior, we’d all be saying step him up to two-and-a-half miles, that’s when he’s doing his best. When you get these horses that are just another level they just look as though they’re doing their best work. He’s on another plane.

“It’s a game of opinions, I could easily be wrong and everyone can laugh at me, but I genuinely believe that Shishkin is an absolute superstar. Energumene might be a superstar but there’s nothing in the form book to suggest it yet. Others, of course, can disagree.”

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