Nicky Henderson confirmed that Shishkin is a potential runner in the Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park on Monday.
The Seven Barrows manager had hoped to start his season at Tingle Creek in Sandown earlier this month but felt last season’s Arkle winner was slightly out of color and later returned a dirty scope.
Shishkin returned to work fast last week, but Henderson wanted a stronger canter before tentatively joining Kempton.
While it happened on Tuesday and all went well, Henderson pointed out that the seven-year-old would still need a school session and an additional canter before he could commit to running in the Grade Two feature.
And he was able to report on Friday morning: “We had a good week with Shishkin and we decided he will race. He studied really well yesterday, Nico (de Boinville) came this morning to ride him again and he worked very well.
“We have to get out, he’s in great shape.”