Amy Murphy is taking her time as she plans a comeback for her stable star Kalashnikov.
The seven-year-old gave Murphy’s Newmarket yard a first Grade One success when taking the Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2019.
He looked to have retained his form the following autumn when runner-up in two successive handicap chases, including the Grade Two Old Roan Chase, also at Aintree.
The gelding subsequently lost his way, however, running with an uncharacteristic lack of zest to trail home in both the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Cheltenham and the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.
He was later to found to have burst blood vessels on both occasions and has not been seen on a racecourse since, but Murphy reports her stable star is well and gaining fitness ahead of his return.
“He’s fine, he’s only just started to gallop so we’ve nothing much to report as of yet,” she said,
“Touch wood it’s been so far, so good.”
Murphy currently has no firm plans for the seven-time winner, who is still in the earlier stages of preparation.
“We haven’t put him under any pressure yet, so we can’t really know where we’re at,” she said.
“But so far he’s been fine.
“He burst (a blood vessel) badly twice, but there was nothing underlying. For the meantime we’ll just continue to bring him along slowly and see how we go.”