Racing fans will be denied a mouth-watering Tingle Creek duel between Chacun Pour Soi and Shishkin next week after the latter was pulled out when not satisfying Nicky Henderson in his home work under regular partner Nico de Boinville.
Shishkin, a brilliant winner of the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, was due to make his seasonal reappearance in the Sandown Grade One, but Henderson has refused to risk the unbeaten chaser as the Seven Barrows trainer feels that “he just isn’t sparky at the moment”.
“There’s nothing wrong with him, but I just haven’t got there. He worked this morning and he just isn’t sparky at the moment. I think I just got behind the ball a little bit,” Henderson said.
“We did his wind (op) in the autumn which wasn’t a problem, but it just put us behind the ball and Nico and I both feel he’s not quite on his ‘A’ game. It really is a thin line. We’ve scoped him and everything and there’s nothing wrong, but you can’t afford to go into this at anything bar 100 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien will make a two-pronged attack on Sunday’s Japan Cup in Tokyo as the Ballydoyle maestro bids to add yet another international prize to his glittering CV.
Broome (Ryan Moore) and the aptly-named Japan (Yutaka Take) have been taking in their new surroundings for the past week ahead of the €5 million showpiece and both bring strong recent form to the table having finished second and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar earlier this month.
Elsewhere, the Willie Mullins-trained Cilaos Emery will take some stopping under Brian Hayes in the Listed Chase (1.05) at Thurles today, with the nine-year-old expected to have the upper hand in a four-runner affair that looks like a race against Gavin Cromwell’s Darver Star, which comes here after falling at Naas recently.