Kalashnikov could still have Festival prep despite missing out at Warwick

Kalashnikov could run again before the Cheltenham Festival

Amy Murphy would not hesitate to run leading Arkle contender Kalashnikov in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase – provided it is re-staged within the next 10 days.

The Grade Two prize was due to be run at Warwick on Saturday, but was one of numerous events cancelled due to the six-day shutdown sparked by an outbreak of equine flu.

Last year’s Betfair Hurdle winner is a general 6-1 chance for the Arkle, but saw his unbeaten run over fences come to an end over Christmas when finishing second in a Grade Two at Kempton.

Murphy said: “If the Kingmaker was run in the next 10 days, I would definitely be running him in it as after that you start thinking you are getting too close to Cheltenham.

“If there was a reason why they didn’t re-stage the race, he would be fine as he would just go for a racecourse gallop with Mercian Prince.

“Don’t get me wrong though, I would love to get another race into him for some more experience, but we will work with whatever we are dealt with.”