Shishkin at Royal Ascot 2023: Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase Preview
2 mins read

Shishkin at Royal Ascot 2023: Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase Preview

Royal Ascot 2023 Dates: Shishkin Primed for Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase

Published: November 24, 2023 | Updated: November 25, 2023

Nicky Henderson, the renowned racehorse trainer, has declared that Shishkin is fit enough to do justice to his talents in the upcoming Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase at Ascot Racecourse. The Grade Two event is seen as a stepping stone towards the prestigious King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Nico de Boinville will be in the saddle for Shishkin, who secured a victory in the Aintree Bowl over the extended three-mile distance back in April. In a bid to sharpen the horse’s focus, Henderson has fitted Shishkin with cheekpieces for the first time, as the unbeaten two-time Ascot winner defends his record at the track.

Despite the option of running in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, Henderson has opted for the Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase at Ascot. Shishkin will face three rivals, including the Paul Nicholls-trained Pic D’Orhy, whom he had previously defeated by 16 lengths in the Ascot Chase in February.

The clash between the stables of Henderson and Nicholls evokes memories of the epic 2019 running of the 1965 Chase, when Altior was pipped by Cyrname. However, the ground conditions are expected to be vastly different this Saturday afternoon.

“I hate saying it is a prep race, but it is — it is the road to Kempton,” explained Henderson. “But Nico says he is wound up enough. He’ll be fitter than Altior was that day. He loved the 2m 5f here last season. I am sure it is the right place to be.”

Nicholls, on the other hand, has directed stable jockey Harry Cobden to partner Pic D’Orhy instead of the 2022 King George winner Bravemansgame in the Betfair Chase. The champion trainer believes his runner has a solid chance to overturn the Ascot Chase defeat, citing the horse’s brilliant form and preference for good ground.

As the anticipation builds for the 2023 Royal Ascot, racing enthusiasts eagerly await the performance of Shishkin in the Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase, a crucial stepping stone on his journey towards the prestigious King George at Kempton.

🔗 Source