Betfair Denman Chase
Grade 2 Handicap, Newbury 14:05
£85,000 guaranteed,
5yo plus,
2m 7f 86y, Class 1   
Saturday 10th February 2024


1 Shishkin 8/11F
2 Hitman 9/1
3 Protektorat 100/30
5 ran Distances: 4¼l, ½l, 5l
Time: 6m 0.00s (slow by 12.00s)

Shishkin's campaign had been plagued by misfortune, including a refusal to start in the 1965 Chase at Ascot during his seasonal debut in November.

Additionally, the 10-year-old unseated jockey Nico de Boinville while performing well in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

During the near three-mile contest, he tracked race leader Protektorat. As they approached the final bend, Shishkin surged forward, comfortably distancing himself from his four rivals to secure victory by a margin of four and a quarter lengths.

Henderson, the trainer, had reservations about the heavy ground conditions before the race. However, the decision to compete paid off, and Shishkin’s return to form was met with relief and satisfaction. The enigmatic horse now sets his sights on the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He said: “The ground wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.

“I was rather hesitant but he had to run, but the ground wasn’t that bad and Newbury have done a great job.

“That is actually his first completed run since Aintree last year, he had a good blow there and Nico thought it would do him a lot of good and it will actually do us all a lot of good.

“He’s jumped very well and probably missed one, otherwise he jumped great. He just needed it more than anything else and we had to do it regardless of conditions.”


All roads now lead to the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which Shishkin is unchanged with Quinnbet at 8-1 to provide Henderson with a third victory in the blue riband.

“I think we have to (go to the Gold Cup) because there is nowhere else to go,” continued Henderson.

“You could wait for Aintree, but no, that’s where we are and that’s what he is.

“I don’t think three and a quarter (miles) is going to frighten him and hopefully we have the starting bug out of our head, he was faultless there – even better than he was at Kempton.

“He was perfect there and we’re in control of him now. He’s behaving our way, not his. He’s like that, he’s a good character. Ascot was probably his fault but Kempton certainly wasn’t, unless you go and kick yourself in the leg on purpose.

“I went to Ireland to see how Willie’s (Mullins) horses were getting on last weekend and Shishkin has a chance – of course he has. I don’t see any point in not running and he can’t come back to two and a half because he’s not in it (Ryanair Chase) anyway.

“You have to be impressed with Galopin Des Champs, but after that I think there is an opening and the Gold Cup is the Gold Cup – you have got to give it a go.

“It looked like he was going to win the King George and that would have put him in the picture. But he’s won today and that definitely puts him in the picture – let’s go!”

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Betfair Denman Chase
£85,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 2m 7f 86y, Class 1
5 ran
Going: Heavy, Soft in places

1     Shishkin 10 11-8 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 8/11F
Hitman 8 11-2 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 9/1
3 ½ Protektorat 9 11-8 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 100/30
5 Sam Brown 12 11-2 Anthony Honeyball Jonathan Burke 11/2
13 Does He Know 9 11-6 Kim Bailey David Bass 33/1

Free Racing Tips

Betfair Denman Chase – Roll of Honour


2023 ZANZA Philip Hobbs Tom O'Brien 9 11-2 16/1 7
2022 ELDORADO ALLEN Colin Tizzard Brendan Powell 8 11-06 6/1 5
2021 SECRET INVESTOR Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost 9 11-00 14/1 7
2020 NATIVE RIVER Colin Tizzard Jonjo O'Neill Jr 10-11-06 2/5F 6
2019 CLAN DES OBEAUX Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 07-11-06 2/5F 4
2018 NATIVE RIVER Colin Tizzard Richard Johnson 08-11-06 8/11F 3
2017 NATIVE RIVER Colin Tizzard Aidan Coleman 07-11-06 11/10 3
2016 HOUBLON DES OBEAUX Venetia Williams Aidan Coleman 09-11-00 3/1 7
2015 CONEYGREE Mark Bradstock Richard Johnson 08-11-05 15/8F 6
2014 HARRY TOPPER Kim Bailey Jason Maguire 07-11-10 7/2 5
2013 SILVINIACO CONTI Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-10 8/11F 8
2012 LONG RUN Nicky Henderson Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 07-11-10 4/7F 5
2011 NOLAND Paul Nicholls A P McCoy 10-11-00 13/2 5
2010 TRICKY TRICKSTER Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-03 8/1 6
*2009 MADISON DU BERLAIS David Pipe Tom Scudamore 08-11-06 12/1 7
2008 DENMAN Paul Nicholls Sam Thomas 08-11-10 1/4F 4
2007 KAUTO STAR Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-00 2/9F 6
2006 Abandoned – Frost
2005 FARMER JACK Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 09-11-06 12/1 8
2004 SHOOTING LIGHT Martin Pipe Richard Johnson 11-11-00 33/1 8
2003 VALLEY HENRY Paul Nicholls Barry Geraghty 08-11-06 4/1 6
2002 BACCHANAL Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 08-11-10 5/4F 7
2001 SHOTGUN WILLY Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard 07-11-10 4/1 5
2000 SEE MORE BUSINESS Paul Nicholls Mick Fitzgerald 10-11-10 1/3F 6

*Run at Kempton Park when Newbury’s card was abandoned because of snow