Amy Murphy's stable star Kalashnikov is set to go back over fences this weekend at Cheltenham after having a prep run over hurdles and the female handler has eyed the Fitzdares Club Loves The Peterborough Chase as his big target.
The seven year old has shown during his career how smart he can be over both hurdles and fences, finishing a narrow second in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in his first season over timber.
After that he went chasing and having always been bought to go over the bigger obstacles and in his first season, won his first two events and then went on to place in the Grade Two Wayward Lads Novices' Chase at Kempton.
After being pulled up at Cheltenham in the Arkle, he was sent to the Grand National meeting at Aintree and he managed to bounce back and land his first Grade One for the yard in the Manifesto Novices' Chase.
Last term he started his campaign off back at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase and could only finish second to Forest Bihan and although finishing second at Newbury in a decent handicap event, his form has dropped off massively.
Having given him a spin over hurdles at Haydock in the Grade Three Stayers' Handicap hurdle it should see him at peak fitness for his return to the bigger obstacles.
Murphy said: “The Peterborough Chase wasn’t Plan A as usually it’s run right-handed, but now it’s been switched to a left-handed track, he’s very much an intended runner.”
She added: “We were very happy with the run at Haydock. He probably just didn’t quite see out the three miles, but he’ll have come on plenty for that and there was no bleed, which was the main thing.”