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WATCH: What A Shout - Shishkin set for Ascot challenge

This week's edition of What A Shout looks ahead to all the action Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton on Saturday, as well as talking to Tom Scudamore about his shock retirement.

In form trainer Chris Gordon gives an update on his stable and runners this weekend, while host Dave Orton also has Racing Post journalist James Stevens and bet365's very own Pat Cooney to preview the weekend action.

The feature race this weekend on ITV Racing is the Ascot Chase where Fakir D'Oudairies is looking to defend the prize for Joseph O'Brien. He takes on the mighty Shishkin, who is aiming to bounce back from two poor runs.

Catch the latest episode of What A Shout on the link above or read below for some of the best bits from the show.

Tom Scudamore quits the saddle

Tom Scudamore ended his career as the tenth most prolific jump jockey of all-time, with 1,499 wins over jumps in Britain and Ireland and 12 on the Flat, including 13 at Grade 1 level.

His announcement that he was to retire with immediate effect was a shock to many in the racing world and he joined the What A Shout team to discuss the news.

"The time was right, it had to be done at some point. I've given it my absolute best shot and I've had a fantastic career," he told Dave Orton.

"It's not a retirement, it's time for a job change!"

There was no shock that Thistlecrack got a mention as the horse that he'll most fondly remember, the pair combining for many big days including Grade 1 hurdles glory at Ascot, Cheltenham and Aintree, as well as winning the 2016 King George at Kempton.

"There have been many lovely horses along the way, I could name plenty, but Thistlecrack, when he was right he was the best."

Hitting the Highway with in-form trainer

Chris Gordon is a trainer in form right now, with last weekend's Betfair Hurdle winner Aucunrisque the headliner in a strong run that has seen him sending out seven winners in just 16 runners over the last fortnight.

He spoke to What A Shout about that Newbury win and admitted that Aucunrisque is perhaps the best horse he's had in his care so far.

The seven-year-old will have various entries next month at Cheltenham and he's currently 7/1 NRNB in the Grand Annual over fences and 14/1 NRNB for the County Hurdle - the races his trainer says will be considered.

When asked by Dave Orton to send What A Shout listeners towards a next-time-out scorer from his yard, Gordon looked towards Market Rasen.

"I would be sweet on a horse called Hiway One O Three next week at Market Rasen."

Ashdown Lad gets Rendlesham Hurdle nod

The first of the weekend race previews was the Rendlesham Hurdle (2.05) at Haydock, with Green Book 3/1 for Venetia Williams in the Grade 2 three-miler, but What A Shout debutant James Stevens fancies 10/3 Ashdown Lad for Dan and Harry Skelton.

"Erne River is favourite and I thought he sort of fell over some of his hurdles last time." he said. "I didn't think it was smooth enough.

"Ashdown Lad ran a brilliant race at Warwick last time behind Glimpse Of Gala - a massively improving horse that carried no weight. He travelled into the race beautifully, looked like he'd win and probably just got tired.

"You'd imagine Dan Skelton is building towards Aintree and he should be a step fitter for this and, look, it's a pretty poor Grade 2."

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Kingwell offers Twiston-Davies inmate chance to rebound

The Kingwell Hurdle (3.12) is the Grade 2 feature at Wincanton on Saturday afternoon and it features a pair of contenders for old sparring partners Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson in 7/4 Knappers Hill and 11/8 First Street respectively.

It was the Seven Barrows inmate that did best on New Year's Day when third in the Relkeel Hurdle over further, with some eight lengths in hand on Knappers Hill.

Pat Cooney felt all three of Knappers Hill, First Street and 10/3 I Like To Move It (sixth) were below their best in that Cheltenham race and, at the prices, he is siding with the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner for the bounce back.

"I was a fan of him prior to the run last time," says Pat. "I though he looked progressive. They won't be hanging around in this (coming back down in trip) and I like him at 10/3 rather than the other pair at around 6/4."

James Stevens was in the same camp, adding: "He has experience around Wincanton, which isn't the sort of track you really 'need' experience on, but it certainly helps."

Shishkin bids to get back on track at Ascot

The Grade 1 Ascot Chase (3.35) features 7/4 defending champion Fakir D'Oudairies for Joseph O'Brien and 9/4 Shishkin having a first crack at 2m5f in his quest to get his career back on track.

Front-running Pic D'Orhy. meanwhile. has won all three starts this season for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and is 11/4 to keep that trend going.

"It was probably a bit of an insult to Shishkin that he opened up at 7/2," says Pat Cooney. "He hasn't been that big since he won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle."

"I'm not bothered about the trip - we all had him down as a possible King George winner over three miles at some point in his career. You are just having to be lenient with two runs now.

"I think the race sets up well for Pic D'Orhy. If he gets an uncontested lead, he could be hard to beat and I think if he's going to win a Grade 1, this will be it."

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