NICKY HENDERSON says 'super' Shishkin is hellbent on King George glory – with the Kempton Boxing Day blockbuster his big race for the season.
Seven Barrows supremo Hendo was speaking as the 19 entries for the £250,000 Grade 1 were revealed.
Others included were Paul Nicholls' Bravemansgame – also entered in the Betfair Chase – as well as Willie Mullins' Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs.
But many punters' eyes will be drawn to the Aintree Bowl champ after he appeared to relish the step up to three miles at Aintree last April.
Henderson, who won the King George with Long Run in 2010 and 2012 and Might Bite in 2017, said: "The whole objective for Shishkin is one day after Christmas and that is the King George.
"After that race we will decide where we go from there.
"He has had a racecourse gallop and the plan is to go to the Betfair Chase first then onto the King George.
"He was super in the racecourse gallop and I was thrilled with him. Nico de Boinville rode him and he was great.
"I was definitely keen to do something like that with him.
"We took six of them to Windsor including Jonbon and Dusart and they all had a nice day out there. The ground was lovely down there.
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"He is most definitely a stayer. We started last season at two miles, then we went up to two miles five furlongs at Ascot and he looked good.
"You would have to say we were a little bit disappointed at Cheltenham in the Ryanair Chase, but then we upped him to three miles one furlong at Aintree and that was a good solid staying jumping performance.
"His win at Aintree showed that he stays three miles, but now we have got to confirm that.
"The ground at Haydock does frighten you a little bit, but we have got to go there as he is not entered in the Charlie Hall and you have either that or the Betfair Chase before the King George.
"The King George is the obvious target if he is going for anything. You start with that and then go from there."
Ladbrokes bet: Bravemansgame 7/4, Shishkin 4/1, Galopin Des Champs 6/1, Allaho 8/1, L'Homme Presse/Gerri Colombe 10/1, The Real Whacker 16/1, Pic D'Orhy/Protektorat 20/1, 25 bar
Ladbrokes King George VI Chase (Grade 1) 3m
2.30pm, Kempton Park, Tuesday 26th December
Allaho (FR) 9 Cheveley Park Stud Willie Mullins, Ireland
Bravemansgame (FR) 8 Bryan Drew Paul Nicholls
Conflated (IRE) 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Edwardstone 9 Robert Abrey & Ian Thurtle Alan King
Frodon (FR) 11 Mr P. J. Vogt Paul Nicholls
Fugitif (FR) 8 Mr Carl Hinchy & Dr Emad Hussain Richard Hobson
Galopin des Champs (FR) 7 Mrs Audrey Turley Willie Mullins, Ireland
Gerri Colombe (FR) 7 Robcour Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Gran Diose (FR) 7 F&O Hinderze/Luc Monnet Mrs Louisa Carberry, France
Hewick (IRE) 8 Mr T. J. McDonald John Joseph Hanlon, Ireland
L'homme Presse (FR) 8 DFA Racing (Pink & Edwards) Venetia Williams
Midnight River 8 Mr Frank McAleavy Dan Skelton
My Drogo 8 Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Dan Skelton
Pic D'orhy (FR) 8 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls
Protektorat (FR) 8 Sir A Ferguson G Mason J Hales & L Hales Dan Skelton
Royale Pagaille (FR) 9 Mrs S. Ricci Venetia Williams
Shan Blue (IRE) 9 Mr Colm Donlon Dan Skelton
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Shishkin (IRE) 9 Mrs J Donnelly Nicky Henderson
The Real Whacker (IRE) 7 Neville, Mann, Duffus, Dennis-Price Patrick Neville
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