SHISHKIN drew on his indomitable will when he needed it most to beat Energumene in a Clarence House Chase that lived up to every last line of its billing at Ascot.
The clash between the best two-mile chasers in Britain and Ireland unbeaten in 11 races between them over the larger obstacles - was promoted as the race of the National Hunt season so far.
And it didn't disappoint.
For most of the SBK sponsored Grade 1 test, Nico de Boinville struggled for rhythm aboard the Nicky Henderson-saddled Shishkin as Paul Town end and Energumene dictated t the pace at the head of the h four-runner field.
The 5-6 favourite still had two lengths to find on the run to the final fence.
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