Read the latest Shishkin Horse Racing profile, including race record, form, news, age, weight, owner, trainer, results and prize money.
Shishkin’s current owners are Joe and Marie Donnelly, who bought him in the Tattersalls December sales in 2018 for a price of £170,000.
He had been owned originally by Ben Case, who purchased him for €40,000, before being sold to Boyne Farm for €28,000, who subsequently sold Shishkin on for a huge profit.
Shishkin had been trained by Virginia Considine very briefly before his sale to the Donnelly’s, who swiftly changed his yard to that of four-time champion trainer Nicky Henderson, who he has remained trained by since.
Henderson began training in 1978 at his Seven Barrows yard in Lambourn, Berkshire, where he has operated from ever since.
He is regarded as one of the sport’s best ever trainers, having been responsible for 73 Cheltenham Festival winners and countless other big successes at various tracks in the UK and Ireland, hence why he was chosen by the Donnelly’s to train Shishkin.
Shishkin is now 10, having made his debut as a four-year-old back in 2018.
While that does mean the son of Sholokhov and Labarytnh is nearing the closing stages of his shining career, he certainly has something left in the tank, in the eyes of Henderson at least.
Henderson was quoted as saying ‘Shishkin has got to go for the Gold Cup hasn't he, because that's the obvious race. He's not going to come back in trip I wouldn't have thought. I suppose that's what we'll have to do’, following his unseating of Nico de Boinville at Kempton on Boxing Day, suggesting there is still life in this 10-year-old yet.
Shishkin’s Chase rating is now 173, which has been his mark ever since a second-placed effort in the Ryanair Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival.
There is a feeling his rating should have been dropped following his latest run, but the fact he remained at 173 highlights how dangerous the son of Sholokhov can be as the handicapper is clearly worried about making life too easy for the legendary chaser.
Shishkin’s peak rating of 177 came prior to his 2022 Cheltenham Festival appearance, a figure just four behind the rating of the current best chaser in the world, Galopin Des Champs, highlighting how good Henderson’s charge can be on his day.
As Shishkin races only in Graded Races now, his weight has been 11st 10lbs for all of his recent efforts.
He has been dropped to 11st 8lbs for his Denman Chase effort this weekend, however, that still makes him topweight in the race.
Shishkin is set to complete his Cheltenham Festival preparation on Saturday 10th February in the Denman Chase at Newbury as he bids to get back to winning ways ahead of his attempt at the Gold Cup in March.
Henderson’s mount looks set to go off as the odds-on favourite for the Denman, with the Skelton’s Protektorat his likeliest challenger, whilst he is to take the Gold Cup at the Festival on Friday 15th March, although those odds may shorten should he impress in his preparation race this weekend.
Since switching to Henderson’s yard, Shishkin has been partnered exclusively with the stable’s top jockey Nico de Boinville and the pair have combined for 12 wins from 18 runs, taking his overall record to 13 from 19.
The pair combined for a victory on their first outing, landing a NH Flat race at Kempton, but fell on their first attempt over obstacles as a duo, being brought down by the second hurdle at Newbury at the end of 2019.
However, that did not seem to shake them up at all as they then went on to win 10 races in a row as Shishkin quickly became one of the biggest names in racing.
That sensational run included wins in both the Supreme and Arkle Novice Chases at Cheltenham as well as victories in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton and Clarence House Chase at Ascot.
He sadly pulled up in the Queen Mother Chase at the 2022 Festival before finishing third in the Tingle Creek on his reappearance at the end of the same year.
However, Shishkin is not one to lie down and he bounced back immediately in the Ascot Chase in February of 2023, sensationally beating Pic D’Orhy by 16 lengths, before going on to win the Aintree Bowl in April.
He is yet to get going this season, having refused to race at Ascot in November before unseating De Boinvillle at Kempton on Boxing Day, but his fortunes may change at Newbury.
Shishkin has won over £736,000 in his career to date, with the majority of those earnings coming via Chase races, while a small portion has come from Hurdle and NH Flat efforts.
By all accounts Shishkin is raring to go ahead of the Denman Chase at Newbury and his trainer has been very positive about his chances in not only that race but the Gold Cup too.
Henderson has stated that he believes a good performance in the Denman would highlight that Shishkin could shine in the Gold Cup come March, with the Lambourn-based trainer saying in regards to Galopin Des Champs ‘I’m thinking, and hoping, he is not unbeatable’.
Should Shishkin dominate at Newbury, as the market suggests he will, he is certainly not one to rule out on the Friday of the Festival next month.