Betfair Hurdle
Grade 3 Handicap, Newbury 15:35
£155,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 69y, Class 1  
Saturday 10th February 2018

1 Kalashnikov 8/1
2 Bleu Et Rouge 10/1
3 Spiritofthegames 20/1
4 Coeur Blimey 14/1
24 ran Distances: 4½l, 8l, 9l
Time: 4m 8.90s (slow by 20.90s)

The Amy Murphy-trained Kalashnikov wins impressively under Jack Quinlan

A novice who had won three of his four starts going into today's race, the five-year-old Kalashnikov is owned by the trainer's father Paul Murphy. 
Settled in mid-division, Kalashnikov made significant progress three flights from home and took up the running approaching two out, staying on strongly after the last to score by four and a half lengths from Irish challenger Bleu Et Rouge (Willie Mullins/Barry Geraghty, 11st 10lb), with another eight lengths back to the third Spiritofthegames (Dan Skelton/Bridget Andrew (3), 11st). 

Amy Murphy and Jack Quinlan 

A delighted Amy Murphy said: "It's unbelievable - I am lost for words!
"I couldn't see him in the early part of the race but when they turned in I could see what was left of his mud-splattered white face.
"He proved that he had every right to come here after the Tolworth and novices have such a good chance in this race. I thought that we should come and have a crack at it because he wouldn't have a weight like this again.
"I think he has proved that he can go for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham now. He would have had a hard race on that ground - although he has done it nicely, I am sure that it will have taken a bit out of him. I think it will be all systems go for Cheltenham as he has proved that he can handle a big competitive field and he has every right to be there.
"I think the better the ground, the better it is for him. He is such a lovely-actioned horse that I think he will only improve for it.
"We have loved him from day one and the good ones train themselves - I just have to hang on daily.
"I wish my father was here today but he's actually in the air on the way to South Africa. Hopefully, he will be straight on the phone when he lands.
"He was one of the biggest horses in the paddock today and is a lovely, big chasing type and that is what he is bred for, being from the family of Kicking King. Anything he is doing now is a huge bonus.
"Jack [Quinlan, jockey] is so under-rated and I always get angry that he doesn't get more rides. He is such a good jockey and has formed a really good partnership with this horse. They are going places together."
Jack Quinlan added: "Kalashnikov is a horse that we think an awful lot of and, on good to soft ground, we would have really fancied him. The rain was a bit of a worry because he got a bit bogged down in the heavy at Sandown and, to be fair to him, he hasn't enjoyed it through the first mile.
"His class has brought him through - he is just so tough and brave in those conditions. He is only a five-year-old and that was only his fifth start, so he's entitled to mature all the time and he has improved since Sandown.
"It's fantastic and both Amy and her father have been wonderful to me. They have shown great loyalty and faith in me. With Amy being a young trainer starting out, it would have been easy to put the horse into the hands of someone more experienced on the big days. It makes our job as a jockey much easier going out there if you know you have the confidence of the connections behind you.
"We have loved him from day one and he has continued to improve with every run. You see the size of him and how well he has jumped out there - he is going to be even better over fences next year.
"I rode some good horses for Mr (John) Ferguson when he was training, including a Grade 2 win on Cotton Mill, but today is the biggest win of my career."
Willie Mullins said of the runner-up Bleu Et Rouge: "That was a good run. 
"Considering he was giving the winner plenty of weight in that ground, I'm very happy with him. 
"He will be entered in some of the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival and we will make a decision as to where he goes at a later date, but I think he will definitely head there."


Betfair Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade 3)
£155,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 69y, Class 1
24 ran
Going: Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Kalashnikov (IRE) 8/1c Jack Quinlan
Miss Amy Murphy 5
2nd Bleu Et Rouge (FR) 10/1 B J Geraghty
W P Mullins 7
3rd 8 Spiritofthegames (IRE) 20/1 Bridget Andrews (3)
D Skelton 6
4th 9 Coeur Blimey (IRE) 14/1 Lucy Gardner (3)
Mrs S Gardner 7
5th Remiluc (FR) (ex5) 33/1 Harry Reed (7)
C Gordon 9
6th 1 Lough Derg Spirit (IRE) 20/1 J McGrath
N J Henderson 6
7th hd Zalvados (FR) 25/1 Ross Turner (7)
Oliver Greenall 5
8th ½ William H Bonney 20/1 Wayne Hutchinson
A King 7
9th Misterton 20/1 Nick Scholfield
H Fry 7
10th Verdana Blue (IRE) 14/1 D N Russell
N J Henderson 6
11th Moon Racer (IRE) 25/1 T Scudamore
D Pipe 9
12th ½ Kayf Grace 8/1c Nico de Boinville
N J Henderson 8
13th 5 Lalor (GER) 14/1 D A Jacob
Kayley Woollacott 6
14th 4 Charli Parcs (FR) 33/1 Ned Curtis (5)
N J Henderson 5
15th Nietzsche 33/1 James Best
B Ellison 5
16th Jenkins (IRE) (ex5) 8/1c James Bowen (3)
N J Henderson 6
17th High Bridge 12/1 Mr Alex Ferguson (7)
B Pauling 7
18th 17 Project Bluebook (FR) 50/1 B Hughes
J J Quinn 5
19th 29 Poppy Kay 25/1 R Johnson
P J Hobbs 8
20th 23 Divin Bere (FR) 50/1 Sam Twiston-Davies
P F Nicholls 5
Also Ran: Knocknanuss (IRE) , Waterlord , Irish Roe (IRE) , Silver Streak (IRE)

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The Betfair Hurdle – Roll of Honour


2017 BALLYANDY Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 06-11-01 3/1F 16
2016 AGRAPART Nick Williams Lizzie Kelly 05-10-05 16/1 22
2015 VIOLET DANCER Gary Moore Joshua Moore 05-10-09 20/1 23
2014 SPLASH OF GINGE Nigel Twiston-Davies Ryan Hatch 06-10-03 33/1 20
2013 MY TENT OR YOURS Nicky Henderson A P McCoy 06-11-02 5/1F 21
2012 ZARKANDAR Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 05-11-01 11/4F 20
2011 RECESSION PROOF John Quinn Dougie Costello 05-10-08 12/1 15
2010 GET ME OUT OF HERE Jonjo O'Neill A P McCoy 06-10-06 6/1 23
2009 Abandoned - Snow
2008 WINGMAN Gary Moore Jamie Moore 06-10-00 14/1 24
2007 HEATHCOTE Gary Moore Jamie Moore 05-10-06 50/1 20
2006 Abandoned - Frost
2005 ESSEX Michael O'Brien IRE Barry Geraghty 05-11-06 4/1F 25
2004 GEOS Nicky Henderson Marcus Foley 09-10-09 16/1 25
2003 SPIRIT LEADER Jessica Harrington IRE Norman Williamson 07-10-00 14/1 27
2002 COPELAND Martin Pipe A P McCoy 07-11-07 13/2 16
2001 LANDING LIGHT Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 06-10-02 4/1F 20
2000 GEOS Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 05-11-03 15/2 17
1999 DECOUPAGE Charles Egerton Jimmy McCarthy 07-11-00 6/1 18
1998 SHARPICAL Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 06-11-01 10/1 14
1997 MAKE A STAND Martin Pipe Chris Maude 06-11-07 6/1 18
1996 SQUIRE SILK Andy Turnell Paul Carberry 07-10-12 13/2 18
1995 MYSILV Charles Egerton Jamie Osborne 05-10-08 9/4F 8
1994 LARGE ACTION Oliver Sherwood Jamie Osborne 06-10-08 9/2 11
1993 KING CREDO Steve Woodman Adrian Maguire 08-10-00 10/1 16
1992 RODEO STAR Nigel Tinkler Graham McCourt 06-10-10 15/2 15
1991 Abandoned - Frost
1990 DEEP SENSATION Josh Gifford Richard Rowe 05-11-03 7/1 17
1989 GREY SALUTE John Jenkins Richard Dunwoody 06-11-05 8/1 10
1988 JAMESMEAD David Elsworth Brendan Powell 07-10-00 11/1 19
1987 NEBLIN Toby Balding Stan Moore 08-10-00 10/1 21
1986 Abandoned – Snow
1985 Abandoned – Snow
1984 RA NOVA Nan Kennedy Paddy Farrell 05-10-06 16/1 26
1983 Abandoned - Snow & Frost
1982 DONEGAL PRINCE Paul Kelleway John Francome 06-10-08 13/1 27
1981 Abandoned – Waterlogged
1980 BOOTLACES David Barons Paul Leach 06-10-09 20/1 21
1979 WITHIN THE LAW Peter Easterby Alan Brown 05-11-04 25/1 28
1978 Abandoned – Frost
1977 TRUE LAD Bill Swainson Tommy Stack 07-10-04 14/1 27
1976 IRISH FASHION Michael Cunningham IRE Ron Barry 05-10-04 16/1 29
1975 TAMMUZ Fulke Walwyn Bill Smith 07-10-13 18/1 28
1974 Abandoned – Waterlogged
1973 INDIANAPOLIS John Sutcliffe snr Jeff King 06-10-06 15/2 26
1972 GOOD REVIEW Jim Dreaper IRE Val O'Brien 06-10-09 8/1 26
1971 CALA MESQUIDA John Sutcliffe snr John Cook 07-10-09 33/1 23
1970 Abandoned - Snow & Frost
1969 Abandoned - Frost
1968 PERSIAN WAR Colin Davies Jimmy Uttley 05-11-13 9/2F 33
1967 HILL HOUSE Ryan Price Josh Gifford 07-10-10 9/1 28
1966 LE VERMONTOIS Ryan Price Josh Gifford 05-11-03 15/2 28
1965 ELAN John Sutcliffe jnr David Nicholson 06-10-07 9/2F 21
1964 ROSYTH Ryan Price Josh Gifford 06-10-02 10/1 24
1963 ROSYTH Ryan Price Josh Gifford 05-10-00 20/1 41