Rory Delargy: Cheltenham will be harder for Energumene as Shishkin well suited to the track

The Cheltenham hill could play into Shishkin's hooves.

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Shishkin got the better of Energumene by one length in the Clarence House Chase to whet the appetite ahead of the Champion Chase in March.

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As the first round between the pair was such a cracker, the hype is already building up for their anticipated second meeting at the Cheltenham Festival, but our new tipster Rory Delargy believes it will be hard for Energumene to reverse the form.

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Rory Delargy:

“It will be harder for Energumene at Cheltenham as you get the impression Shishkin will be better suited. He was wide most of the way and is probably a little happier going left handed.

“There’s no obvious reason why you’d expected a turnaround but there was little in it. All you need is one little thing to happen differently to potentially change the result but that goes both ways.

“Energumene was very economical with his jumping while Shishkin was a little unlucky with his mistake. I don’t think he hit the fence, he just nodded on landing.

“As he did at Kempton, he’s come off the bridle early but finds an awful lot. That’s the really likeable thing about Shishkin, just like Altior, when you think he’s in trouble he can find extra in the finish. He’s going to be well suited by the hill at Cheltenham.

“There’s no reason to think this is done and dusted after one result. They’ve had very similar careers thus far but Shishkin just started that little bit earlier so maybe that six months of learning he has on him might pay off. It was also Energumene’s first proper race whereas Shishkin’s been in one before so he might learn more for that.

“Energumene looks well suited to Ascot and it’s a race I’d be sticking in his calendar going forward.”

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