BRITISH HORSERACING trainer Nicky Henderson has said that Shishkin, the horse that pulled up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham is suffering from a “pretty rare bone condition''.
Shishkin was heavily backed to win the race, but the eight-year-old lost out to Ireland and Willie Mullins Energumene.
Jockey Nico de Boinville had to surrender the race at the time.
At the time, a lot of people stated that the heavy rain on the day had a huge effect on the race, but that has been refuted by Henderson.
Speaking to Unibet, he said:
“Immediately the next day he was actually perfectly alright, then he was lame for a couple of days and then he was sound", he said.
“We weren’t quite sure where he was. Initially we put it down to the ground, but I think in our heart of hearts we knew that even though it was atrocious ground, that that wasn’t the whole thing – there was something else that was bugging us.
“We have, to say the least, dug and dug and dug until we could come up with something. There was nothing obvious, but he was intermittently lame on different legs, which seemed rather strange.
The problem found was a bone issue according to Henderson
“We recently did a bone scan on his whole body and that would normally show you the one hotspot and tell you where the lameness is. On this, four different hotspots came up in completely different places.
“He has what you would have to call a pretty rare bone condition. Why on earth he should all of a sudden do this on the day of the Champion Chase, goodness only knows, but that’s the first day it affected him – he’d never taken a lame step the whole way through his preparation.
“The ground we knew was a concern, but that’s got nothing to do with it.”
📽️ NICKY HENDERSON SHISHKIN UPDATE — Unibet Racing (@UnibetRacing) April 5, 2022
🗣️ "He has a pretty rare bone condition. It's a strange problem but it's very mendable. He should be fine for next season. Ground was a concern but it actually had nothing to do with it."
📹 Full Aintree Stable Tour lands later this week! pic.twitter.com/oajRbL2Ri0
📽️ NICKY HENDERSON SHISHKIN UPDATE
— Unibet Racing (@UnibetRacing) April 5, 2022
There had been plano run Shishkin in the Celebration Chase at Sandown, but that has been put on the back burner
Henderson has not ruled out a return to Cheltenham in 2023
He added: “It is a very strange problem, but it’s something that’s very mendable. He’s going to have a month’s box rest, then a month’s walking and then we’ll turn him out in the field.
“There is absolutely no reason why he won’t be ready for the beginning of next season. Once the bone has stopped this development in these four identifiable areas, that’ll be the end of it.
“Sadly all it means really is he’s going to miss the Celebration Chase at Sandown, which is where I’d hoped he would go.
“It’s a pity he won’t be able to run there, but as long as he’s alright for next season, that’s all that matters.”