Clarence House Chase tips, predictions & start time for Shishkin v Energumene at Ascot

Who are Paddy's pals siding with in the Shishkin v Energumene debate?


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It’s the race we’ve all been waiting for, Shishkin v Energumene! The leading two-milers face off the first time in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot this afternoon.


The field is completed by last year’s champ First Flow and course-and-distance winner Amoola Gold but it’s expected to be a monster clash between the big two. Who do our pundits and tipsters fancy to come out on top when they go to post at 15:35? Read on to find out…

Matt Chapman: The feature of the day in the Grade 1 Clarence House over 2m1f. Of course I could be wrong, but I’ve long been in the SHISHKIN camp and I’m not changing now. It’s a shame there are not a few more runners to test them all but with First Flow and Energumene able to go from the front I would expect Shishkin to get a nice lead and that the Supreme and Arkle winner will be far too good for his rivals. He’s special – at least I hope he is for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville.

Mick Fitzgerald: Two unbeaten chasers in the Irish challenger Energumene and England’s great hope, Shishkin. There is no doubt that Willie Mullins’ charge is better going right-handed. If they go fast it will suit Shishkin as he is a strong stayer and both horses have won over further than the minimum 2m trip. It could come down to one mistake from either runner. My feeling is SHISHKIN will pick Energumene off late on. First Flow won this contest last year and seems to saves his best for Ascot.

Frank Hickey: Nothing has been able to lay a glove on ENERGUMENE over jumps so far in Ireland. I loved the way he went head-to-head with Notebook at Cork last time and still was able to win convincingly. If Energumene can’t win at Ascot against Shishkin, then he can’t beat him in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Everything is in his favour to dominate this, like going right handed, the 2m1f trip, a small field… it’s all there. He can put Shishkin to the sword before the straight. I’m as confident as you can be in a race like this. I can’t see either one hammering the other, but I fancy Energumene to do the business.

Timeform: Nicky Henderson’s SHISHKIN faces his stiffest test yet over fences but is fancied to follow in the hoofprints of the stable’s fomer winners of this Grade 1 Altior and Sprinter Sacre and confirm himself the premier 2m chaser. Irish-challenger Energumene also arrives unbeaten in this sphere and should ensure this is a race to savour, with last year’s victor First Flow no forlorn hope either.

Ruby Walsh: ENERGUMENE is all good heading into this one and I’m not going to go against him. I’m firmly in his camp. I can see why Shishkin is favourite and he’s accomplished a lot. Circumstances have brought these two together at Ascot in January before Cheltenham, it’s just the way the season has unfolded. Going right handed will really suit Energumene. It’s against Shishkin who goes slightly to his left. It’ll be a brilliant race and I hope they both bring their A game.



Clarence House Chase Tips

Matt Chapman – Shishkin
Mick Fitzgerald – Shishkin
Frank Hickey – Energumene
Timeform – Shishkin
Ruby Walsh – Energumene



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