Kalashnikov to miss BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham

Kalashnikov (left) - not running at Cheltenham
Kalashnikov (left) - not running at Cheltenham

Kalashnikov is set to make his next appearance at Newbury later this month, after Amy Murphy ruled out running in next week's BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

A top-class novice chaser last season, the six-year-old made an encouraging start to the new campaign when runner-up to Forest Bihan in last month's Old Roan Chase at Aintree.

He was a best priced 8-1 for the feature event of the November meeting at Cheltenham, but Murphy has decided to sidestep the fiercely competitive handicap in favour of a trip to Berkshire.

She said on Sunday: "He's A1 and cantered this morning. I just feel Cheltenham is going to come a touch too soon for him after Aintree - and I'm not sure running him in a 20-runner handicap with all the hurly burly is the right thing to do at this stage of the season.

"The plan now is to go to Newbury for the two-and-a-half-mile handicap on the Friday of the Ladbrokes Trophy meeting - it's the race Aso won for Venetia Williams last season."

The Newmarket-based trainer is still likely to be represented in the BetVictor Gold Cup, after confirming Mercian Prince - a best priced 50-1 - an intended runner.

"All being well, Mercian Prince will run at Cheltenham," Murphy added.


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