Talking Horses: Energumene and Shishkin can stage a race for the ages | Greg Wood

By: Greg Wood Tuesday 18 January 2022

Saturday should see the rare sight of two potential champions taking each other on before Cheltenham week comes around

There is so much that could go wrong even between Monday morning and Saturday that it feels reckless to suggest it, but it is increasingly likely that the Clarence House Chase at Ascot this weekend could be that rarest of races over jumps: a season-defining, perhaps even an era-defining, contest which will unfold with something other than Cleeve Hill at Cheltenham as the backdrop.

Shishkin and Energumene, the outstanding two-mile chasers in the UK and Ireland respectively, both stood their ground for Saturday’s Grade One at the five-day stage on Monday morning. First Flow, last year’s winner and something of an Ascot specialist, remains a potential runner too and if all three go to post, we could well see the best jumps race outside the Festival since Moscow Flyer beat Azertyuiop and Well Chief in the 2004 Tingle Creek.

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