Hot favourite Shishkin wins Arkle in style for Nicky Henderson as British get on board at Cheltenham FestivalMarch 16, 2021
SHISHKIN first, the rest nowhere.
Nicky Henderson's star made light work of his biggest test to date, extending his unbeaten run to seven in the Sporting Life Arkle.
The 4-9 favourite was happy to sit behind tearaways Allmankind and Captain Guinness throughout.
But jockey Nico De Boinville moved up a gear turning in and there was only ever going to be one winner.
Henderson's novice went on to triumph by 12 lengths with Eldorado Allen running into second at 33-1, repeating stablemate Altior's win in the 2017 renewal.
It was a case of job done rather than wow for Shishkin, with long-time expected challenger Energumene ruled out late in the day through injury.
But that didn't stop the bookies running for cover, with some firms already going 6-4 for next year's Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Henderson smiled: "We've been very lucky in these two mile races. You think we had Altior after Sprinter Sacre, and we seem to have another one. I can't really believe it.
"It's extraordinary, but at the same time it's just not the same, it'll never be the same without the people here.
"But it still does the same to me watching them go round!
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"It's always scary when these horses go off the short-priced favourite."
De Boinville, landing his tenth Festival winner, said: "I'm absolutely over the moon, I'm just delighted to be on a horse such as Shishkin.
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"He's just amazing, he's a fantastic horse.
"After that performance, it's safe to say, he could be absolutely anything."
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