Talking Horses: let’s hope for Shishkin v Energumene II at Cheltenham

By: Greg Wood Tuesday 25 January 2022

The Ascot clash felt like the kind of race we are fortunate to see once in a decade, not twice in the space of eight weeks

As countless football managers have discovered over the years, the hardest thing of all to manage is the fans’ expectations. Amid the euphoria after Saturday’s Clarence House Chase at Ascot, though, a race that promised much and delivered even more, it was only natural that thoughts would soon turn towards Shishkin vs Energumene II: the Rematch. If both horses turn up and if both run to form, the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on 16 March seems certain to be the race of the Festival.

But those are, of course, two very big “ifs” right there, and if racing history tells us anything, it is that you can only hope, and never expect. Saturday felt like the kind of race we are fortunate to see once in a decade, not twice in the space of eight weeks.

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