Shishkin is set to put his unbeaten record over fences on the line in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on 4 December.

The seven-year-old is Nicky Henderson's sole representative among 14 entries for the Grade Two over two miles.

Henderson reports last season’s Arkle Trophy and Maghull Novices’ Chase scorer to be on course for the pre-Christmas feature.

"He’s going straight for the Tingle Creek. The two-mile division is very hot this season and let’s see what Willie (Mullins) throws at us," said the Seven Barrows handler.

"He has a strong hand and will be queuing up to take us on. Shishkin is not the flashiest horse at home, he’s just very professional with a good attitude."

Henderson told Racing TV: "It’s going to be an early-season scorcher, isn’t it?

"Dan (Skelton) is saying his horse (Nube Negra) is going to go there and he was very impressive at Cheltenham – and don’t forget, he actually beat Altior at Kempton last year.

"We knew before the season started this was going to be a hot division this year and Willie holds a lot of the cards.

"I was hoping we might get a free run until after Christmas, but I can see Willie’s point – he’s got two or three to play with and is going to have to come here with something, otherwise he’ll run out of race in Ireland.

"Shishkin grew a lot during the summer. He’s now big, strong and fully matured – he’s ready to roll."

Mullins has entered three of his big guns – Energumene and Allaho and Chacun Pour Soi – and is likely to send over one from his Irish base as he wants to split them between the Hilly Way, Tingle Creek and John Durkan which take place on same weekend.

Henry de Bromhead’s Captain Guinness, winner of a Grade Three chase at Naas earlier this month, is a fourth Irish entry while Nube Negra, who made a successful seasonal debut in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, is in the mix for Skelton.

Paul Nicholls, who has won the race a record 11 times, has four possibles including last year’s victor Politologue. His others are Greaneteen, Hitman and Rouge Vif. The list is completed by Cheddleton, Defi Du Seuil, First Flow and Paint The Dream.