Fleur De Lys Chase
| Lingfield 14:00
2m 6f 10y, Class 2
Thanks so much to our amazing grounds team, who worked tirelessly attempting to make our track raceable. It’s a great shame, despite their best efforts, we’ve had to abandon today pic.twitter.com/a0uqTKILnF— Lingfield Park (@LingfieldPark) January 22, 2023
The pair, first and third respectively last year, served up a thrilling finish and feature this time among six declared.
Former Grade One star Kalashnikov helped put trainer Amy Murphy on the map when winning the Betfair Hurdle before finishing an agonising second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in the early part of his career, before giving the Newmarket-based handler her first Grade One triumph when landing Aintree’s Manifesto Novices’ Chase in 2019.
The popular son of Kalanisi continued to hold his own in any number of high calibre assignments and gave a brave account at the Cheltenham Festival in 2021, going down on his shield to finish fourth behind Allaho in the Ryanair Chase.
A setback meant that would be Kalashnikov’s final outing for 648 days and the gelding made his long-awaited comeback in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day in which he showed up well for a long way before tiring in the straight.
However, Murphy was pleased to see her flagship National Hunt charge back on track and reports Lingfield’s £165,000 contest to be his aim.
She said: “He’s fine and we’re happy with him. Obviously he was tired on the day, but he’s back to himself now and it’s great to get that first run under his belt.
“He might go to Lingfield for the Fleur de Lys Chase at the Winter Million meeting, we’ll just see how we go over the next week first. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan over the next week and that will be Plan A.”
Reflecting further on Kalashnikov’s Wetherby outing, Murphy added: “He got very tired three out and Jack (Quinlan) just looked after him from then on.
“He was a bit behind the bridle early doors and looked a little bit rusty visually watching and I think Jack probably felt the same way riding. But he travelled and jumped and it was good to get the first run back under his belt.”
Anthony Honeyball's 11-year-old Sam Brown is the highest-rated of those rivals, with Stolen Silver (Sam Thomas) and Brave Seasca (Venetia Williams) completing the field.
Fleur De Lys Chase
£165,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 2m 6f 10y, Class 2
NO. FORM HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY
1 341-U2 Stolen Silver 8 11-10 Sam Thomas Sam Twiston-Davies
2 P31P-4 Bristol De Mai 12 11-6 Nigel Twiston-Davies Daryl Jacob
3 2P1-35 Sam Brown 11 11-6 Anthony Honeyball Aidan Coleman
4 13F-10 Brave Seasca 8 11-2 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch
5 7234/6 Kalashnikov 10 11-2 Amy Murphy Jack Quinlan
6 112P-5 Two For Gold 10 11-2 Kim Bailey David Bass