Kalahari King is ready to take his chance in the Blue Square Handicap Chase at Doncaster on Saturday after pleasing connections in a workout this morning.
Last season’s Arkle Trophy runner-up has yet to see a racecourse this season having been held up by a minor setback and the weather, but trainer Ferdy Murphy is ready to let him return this weekend.
The West Witton handler had also been considering the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury the following weekend but is keen to run his charge now with the weather seemingly on his side.
“Graham schooled him over 10 fences and then we worked him twice up the all-weather and he worked really well,” said Murphy.
“He will come on for the run but we are fairly certain racing will be on this weekend and you wouldn’t be so sure for next week.
“We’re going to grasp the nettle and get on with it, but it’s a very competitive handicap as you would expect for £70,000.
“It’s a matter of getting a run into him and then that gives us five and a half weeks to the Festival, which would be just right for him.”
While Kalahari King will shoulder top-weight in this weekend’s competitive affair, his stable companion Beggars Cap is likely to creep in near the bottom of the handicap.
“He will also run and Keith Mercer will ride him,” Murphy told At The Races.
“He’s a good little horse in his own right. He won well at Aintree last year and has a nice weight.
“Like Kalahari, he wouldn’t really want any rain during the week but he’s really ready for a run and then hopefully he’ll go to Cheltenham for the Grand Annual.”