Newmarket-based horse racing trainer Amy Murphy has her sights set on a massive Cheltenham Festival win and it’s one that could net the stable a huge bonus.
Her jumping stable star Kalashnikov was sent off at odds of 1/7 at Plumpton recently and duly made it two wins from two since going chasing and the ease with which he won has sent the bookies scampering for cover.
Kalashnikov is now a general 4/1 and 9/2 joint-favourite for the Arkle Trophy, the two-mile chasing crown for novices at Cheltenham in March, with professional punters really starting to sit up and take notice of the five-year-old.
Currently around 20-25% of all bets on the Arkle are being placed on this horse and you’d have to factor into the equation that had he been trained by a Nicky Henderson, a Paul Nicholls or a Willie Mullins he’d probably be around 5/2 favourite about now.
The bookmakers have reacted to his flawless performances over the bigger obstacles thus far but not to the extent that they might. Bets into the thousands are now being reported on Kalashnikov as he looks to reward connections with a £60,000 bonus.
Sussex-based Plumpton Racecourse has once again put up this annual bonus for any horse that can win one of their five nominated races before going on to win at the Cheltenham Festival and Murphy has been clever.
In this grade, Kalashnikov could have won anywhere against any opposition so going to Plumpton and chasing the bonus was a shrewd move. The bonus was last collected back in 2006 and somehow you get the feeling it’s overdue.
Professional backers like to get value for money and so I’d expect more dough to come in for Kalashnikov in the next few days and weeks as the pro’s begin to realise he could be a steal.
At the sharp end of sports betting and writing for the past 20 years, Gary Christie uses his vast experience and expertise to provide content for TVG, Mr Green, CasinoEuro and many others. His professional betting activities cover horse races in the UK, Ireland, France and the USA.