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2021 Aintree hero Shishkin to miss remainder of season, Nicky Henderson confirms

After his Cheltenham disappointment, Shishkin will be kept away from the track until the new season




Having been diagnosed with a “pretty rare bone condition”, Seven Barrows star Shishkin will miss the remainder of the 21/22 season, his handler Nicky Henderson has stated.

The former Arkle and Supreme winner never seemed to travel in the deep Wednesday ground on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, which was won by the Ascot rival he had downed a month previously, Energumene.

But his condition has been described as “mendable” and he will be back with a point to prove next term, according to Henderson.


The Berkshire chief said in a recent video: “The next day after Cheltenham he was perfectly all right and then he was lame for a couple of days, then he was sound.

“We weren’t quite sure where he was and we put it down to the ground, but in our heart of hearts we knew that, while it was atrocious ground, that wasn’t the whole thing – there was something else.

Shishkin will not appear at Aintree or Sandown, and will not been seen on a racetrack again until late 2022

“We have dug and dug and dug until we could come up with something. He was intermittently lame on different legs, which is rather strange. We did a bone scan on his whole body, which will normally show you one hotspot; it will tell you where the lameness is. On this, four hotspots came up in different places.

“He has what you’d call a pretty rare bone condition. The reason you get these hotspots is because he’s laying down new bone. Why on earth he should suddenly do this on the day of the Champion Chase goodness only knows. It’s the first day it affected him.

“It is a very strange problem and a rare one. I could show you the vet’s report, but I don’t think anyone apart from a vet would understand a word of it. It’s something that is very mendable and he’s going to do a month’s box rest, then a month’s walking and then we’ll turn him out for his summer holiday.

Nicky Henderson reading a racecard at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Nicky Henderson has described Shishkin’s bone condition as “very mendable”

“There is no reason he won’t be ready for the beginning of next season. Once the bone has stopped the development in these four areas that will be the end of it. He’s on no medication really, apart from some aspirin, and we’ve just got to let it settle down.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.