Cheltenham Festival news: Shishkin leading the charge for the Ryanair Chase

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Nicky Henderson worked his magic to get the nine-year-old back to his brilliant best at Ascot last month where he produced a scintillating display. He was pulled up in the Champion Chase 12 months ago when it later transpired he was suffering from a rare bone condition, and was then beaten on his return in the Tingle Creek, after which he underwent wind surgery. However, just like he did with Sprinter Sacre a few years ago, the master of Seven Barrows has seemingly coaxed back to his best ahead of his return to the Festival next week. Henderson told Unibet: "It was great and everyone was very kind at Ascot, but to compare it with Sprinter's comeback was a bit much as he'd only actually had two misses. "If you go back to the Clarence House last year and that wonderful race with Energumene, he was flat out the whole way, at the second last we looked beaten fair and square but then his stamina turbo kicked in. "In the Champion Chase he could have literally been pulled up after a fence and a scan showed he had these five hotspots, he was lame everywhere. "We took our time, came back for the Tingle Creek but again, it looked quite laboured and he was just that yard short of pace so we got him to Ascot over two-five and he came through that. He was impressive, I must admit. "It wasn't until he jumped the last and I thought 'phew' that I realised how far clear he went."

Gordon Elliott's hot favourite Mighty Potter is among 14 left in the first race on day three of the Festival - the Turners Novices' Chase. Hugely impressive over fences to date, he appears to be one of his trainer's best chances of the week. Balco Coastal, Banbridge, Sir Gerhard and Stage Star will ensure it is far from a cake walk if they all run, though. In the Jack de Bromhead Mares' Novices' Hurdle Henderson's Luccia heads the market, with 25 left in. Magical Zoe will be Henry de Bromhead's big hope in a race named after his late son. Surprisingly only 28 remain in the Pertemps Final, in which a maximum field of 24 will go to post. Elliott has the top three in the weights with Salvador Ziggy, The Bosses Oscar and Maxxum. There are 38 left in the Magners Plate, with Willie Mullins' Haut En Couleurs heading the weights, while 35 are still in contention for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase.

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