Jonbon and Shishkin among Henderson stars ruled out at Cheltenham

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Jonbon and Shishkin among Henderson stars ruled out at Cheltenham

Nicky Henderson has reacted to his poor results on the opening day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival by withdrawing several runners including Jonbon and Shishkin.

Henderson went into this year’s festival under a cloud following the withdrawal of Champion Hurdle title holder Constitution Hill and a disappointing run of form from his stable as a whole.

Luccia provided the Seven Barrows handler with a boost when finishing third behind State Man in the Champion Hurdle, but his other five runners on Tuesday were all pulled up.

Henderson posted on X: “I’m afraid we have had to make some very tough decisions following the very disappointing performances of all bar one of our horses yesterday.

“It was there for all to see that there is obviously something affecting nearly all our horses and consequently we have reluctantly decided that Jonbon, First Street and Kingston Pride will not run today.

“It is impossible to identify any reason for all the disappointments and none of these horses have given us any cause for concern and all yesterday’s runners were scoped clean post race and I am glad to say all are sound this morning.

“There will unfortunately be further non-runners on Thursday and Friday.

“I hope everybody will appreciate that we have to do this in everybody’s interests, particularly the horses. It is very, very disappointing for everybody.”

Among Henderson’s high-profile entries for the rest of the week are JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Sir Gino who has been declared, but leading Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Shishkin has been pulled out alongside Champ.

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