Claimantakingforgan heads Tolworth field
Last Updated: 02/01/18 3:42pm
Claimantakinforgan features among 11 entries for the 32Red Tolworth Novices' Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.
Third in last season's Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, Nicky Henderson's charge has won each of his two starts over hurdles, most recently impressing in the Grade Two Supreme Trial at Ascot.
Henderson has claimed this Grade One prize four times in the last seven years and could also call upon Whatswrongwithyou and Summit Juvenile Hurdle winner We Have A Dream.
Kalashnikov could put his unbeaten record on the line for Amy Murphy, while Warren Greatrex has both Dream Brother and Western Ryder in contention.
Joseph O'Brien's Speak Easy is a potential Irish challenger. The JP McManus-owned gelding won a point-to-point last spring and was a dominant winner on his hurdling bow at Navan last month.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Mont Des Avaloirs, Tom George's Summerville Boy, The Russian Doyen from Colin Tizzard's yard and Gary Moore's exciting juvenile Sussex Ranger complete the potential field.
Kalashnikov in great form
Murphy is ready to let her stable star Kalashnikov put his unbeaten record on the line in the race on Saturday.
The five-year-old won a Wetherby bumper on his racecourse introduction in March and returned to the West Yorkshire circuit to make a successful debut over hurdles in November.
He was hugely impressive when slamming the previously unbeaten Irish Prophecy at Doncaster last month and Murphy feels the time has come to test his powers at the highest level.
"This has very much been the plan since Doncaster and he's in great form," said the Newmarket-based trainer.
"The ground is not going to be ideal, especially with more rain forecast. We'll see how it goes and make a decision later in the week, but the intention is to run.
"We've decided to stick to two miles at the moment and there aren't a whole bunch of races.
"We'll certainly have a better idea after Saturday whether we should be sticking to two or stepping up to two-and-a-half.
"We're looking forward to it."