Kalashnikov will make his eagerly anticipated debut over fences at Warwick on Friday.
Amy Murphy’s stable star showed plenty of talent during his novice hurdling campaign last season, winning the Betfair Hurdle before being narrowly agonisingly caught in the shadow of the post by Summerville Boy in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival - was my tip!
He'll be no sort of price tomorrow, even though the ground is perhaps quicker than he'd like, and his trainer is taking nothing for granted. “We could have done with a bit more rain, but we are where we are. I’ll go up to the track early in the morning and check we’re happy with the ground,” said the Newmarket handler. "It’s exciting for the team to get him started. Whatever he does tomorrow he will come on for it as we’ve not been able to get the horses on the grass yet because the weather has been so dry. It’s no easy task for him, but as long as he has a clean round of jumping and learns a lot we’ll be happy. It will be great to get his season under way.”
He is already the favourite for the Arkle in March before he has even faced larger obstacles in public, a good show on Friday and he will no doubt shorten further. I have taken the 7-1 with Paddy Power as I am a fan of this horse. I know what you're thinking, betting on Cheltenham races in November I need my bumps felt, but I can see him shortening all the way through till March and faint heart never won fair lady.