Kalashnikov rise leaves Murphy in a quandary

Trainer struggling to find a target for stable star.

Kalashnikov  Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Amy Murphy is facing a tough task scouring through the programme books in the UK and Ireland to find a suitable race for Kalashnikov  following his tremendous run in defeat at Newbury.

The Newmarket trainer's work in making plans was made harder after the handicapper raised the six-year-old 6lb after he was agonisingly beaten a nose by Oldgrangewood in a two-and-a-half mile handicap chase on Friday.

Kalashnikov holds an entry in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday week, but he was at the top of the ratings for that handicap chase with a figure of 155 before he ran at Newbury.

"The handicapper hasn't been kind to him. He's put him up 6lb which means there isn't a single race for him because I can't run him in a handicap off that," she said.

"He already was top weight off 155 in the Caspian Caviar. Going up another 6lb will only put him further clear of the others."

The Grade One Ascot Chase at the Berkshire track in February is a long way off and would mean Kalashnikov going right-handed while he is better going left-handed.

"There isn't a single race for him, not one, so god knows what we are going to do. The next one over here is in February. We'll have to go to Ireland," she said.

"We'll have to have a look. There's no two-and-a-half-mile race at a left-handed track. I'd even go right-handed, but there isn't one either.

"It's an absolute joke."

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