Trainer Amy Murphy has confirmed stable star Kalashnikov will prepare for the Arkle Trophy by running at Warwick in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase.
The five-year-old was last in action in December when he finished second at Kempton in the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase.
Before that he had won two in a row at Warwick and Plumpton and Murphy is happy to return him to the Midlands to compete on February 9.
Kalashnikov won his first race over fences at the courses and a competitive field is expected for the contest next month.
Confirming her plans, Murphy told reporters: “I’m almost certain Kalashnikov will go to Warwick for the Kingmaker, all being well, because the Lightning at Doncaster comes that bit too quick.
“At Kempton, he made two mistakes out of the first three fences, and he was on the back foot from there. He did very well to get back to where he finished, but take nothing away from the winner (Dynamite Dollars).
“It was always going to be quick enough for him at Kempton – because he wants a big, galloping track – but there wasn’t a lot of choice for him.
“The horse that finished back in third (Highway One O One) was rated 145 – so when you look at that he ran very well.”
Kalashnikov is 7.00 to win the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham this year, while he is 34.00 to win the Champion Hurdle at Prestbury Park in March.