Amy Murphy's stable star, Kalashnikov, enjoyed a fine novice hurdling campaign last season, taking the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in Februrary, before being narrowly denied in a great battle with Summerville Boy in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival a month later.
Second in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle back in March, Kalashnikov (1/4) puts in a nice performance on chasing debut to land the (14:00) Novices' Chase at @WarwickRaces! 🏇— Timeform Live (@TimeformLive) November 9, 2018
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Sent off a red-hot favourite on his chasing debut, Kalashnikov (1/4) saw off the attention of his three rivals with the minimum of fuss, much to the delight of his connections.
Jockey Sean Quinlan positioned the 5-year-old gelding at the rear of the field throughout the early stages of the two-mile race, and Kalashnikov travelled powerfully as the race progressed.
He did however make a slight error at the first open ditch, and pitched on landing after over-jumping an obstacle in the back straight, but otherwise the Amy Murphy-trained gelding was neat and accurate, having had his three opponents in trouble before entering the home straight, before going on to score by a distance of around 11 lengths.
Murphy, speaking after the race, stated: "We're delighted. He made a couple of novicey mistakes, but he was entitled to do so and he was probably only 85 per cent fit today.
"Coming to the ditch, Jack said Kalashnikov lined up a long one and Jack just held him back to teach him something. He didn't want him to be silly.
"Other than that he was good and I'm sure he'll improve."
Kalashnikov may next appear in an extended two-mile novice chase at Plumpton in early December, with the Sussex track offering a £60,000 bonus for any horse who can win a one of a handful of selected races before going on to claim Cheltenham Festival glory in March.
"We've had our eye on the Plumpton bonus for a while, but it depends on him coming out of this race well," said Murphy.
"That race is only a few weeks away in early December, so we'll see."
Published at 11:05 am.