“We Have a Month Now”: After Facing Harsh Defeat From Shishkin, Horse Racing Trainer Reveals Runner-Up Equine’s Future

Published 02/11/2024, 9:15 AM EST

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Horse racing fans had a full day of feasting this weekend. Although there are many excellent events, the G2 Denman Chase is particularly noteworthy since it determines the fate of a select number of horses. The event was won by Shishkin, trained by Nicky Henderson, with Hitman finishing in second place, a distance of 4¼ lengths behind. For the two horses, it was a monumental day since the event was held as a tune-up for the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival.

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During the Cheltenham Festival, each horse will be aiming for a different title. For Paul Nicholls’ trained Hitman, the goal has already been decided by the trainer. Following his loss to Shishkin, Nicholls discussed Hitman’s upcoming appearance in the G1 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Getting him ready for the Cheltenham Festival

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The Cheltenham Festival does not accept many entries. Those that continue to win in the lead-up to the main event, however, generate a great deal of excitement, and many even become favorites. Although Hitman was ultimately vanquished by Shishkin’s tremendous racing speed, his trainer, Paul Nicholls had a very favorable impression of him. Nicholls’ remark on the horse was posted by Road To Cheltenham on X and stated, “I’m thrilled with him.”

The statement claims that the horse’s trainer has already planned the horse’s next race. According to the trainer, “He was a little out of form last year,” but Nicholls isn’t expecting the same result this year after placing third. As per the statement, the trainer also added, saying, “My sole aim has been to have him at his best for the Ryanair and we have a month now to finish that off.” There’s still time to perform in the G1 race, and Nicholls is hoping that his horse has a better day at Cheltenham than yesterday.

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A fierce battle between Shishkin and Hitman

Newbury Racecourse hosted a plethora of races on Super Saturday. This year’s schedule also included the Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase. The horses who took part in the 2m7½f race had 18 hurdles to overcome. There was no non-runner on the course; therefore, the five racers were determined. Hitman and Shishkin, who had been rivals for quite some time, were back on the track at the Newbury Racecourse.

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Although Shishkin had some trouble jumping a couple of fences throughout the race, Hitman breezed over them all. However, Shishkin was a quick horse while racing in a straight line, even if he made a few errors. Hitman nailed every leap, but Shishkin made up for the lost time with his sheer speed. Hitman was passed by the horse trained by Nicky Henderson with three hurdles to go in the race. The Paul Nicholls-trained horse finished in second place, 4¼ lengths behind the winning horse. Rest certain, the Cheltenham Festival is where all the excitement will unfold, as this was just a practice run for the horses.

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Written by:

Rahul Goutam Hoom

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Rahul Hoom is a seasoned sportswriter with a diverse range of interests at EssentiallySports. He takes pride in his multidimensional personality that encompasses gaming, photography, and writing. While he cannot resist the urge to cover the latest exploits of Connor McDavid, Rahul's writing prowess extends beyond the NHL.
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Edited by:

Sampurna Pal

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