Amy Murphy will consider the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham as a possible next objective for Kalashnikov following his pleasing comeback run at Aintree.
Having rounded off his novice campaign over fences with a Grade One victory over the course and distance, the six-year-old was sent off favourite on his return to Merseyside for Sunday’s Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase.
With the three fences in the home straight omitted because of low sun on each of the two circuits, the two-and-a-half-mile contest turned into a sprint, and Kalashnikov had to make do with an honourable second behind Brian Ellison’s race-fit chestnut Forest Bihan.
Murphy said: “He’s absolutely fine this morning and is as happy as Larry.
“He ran a good race and blew the cobwebs away. It obviously wasn’t ideal they didn’t jump the fences in the straight – but it’s a long old season, so we’re not going to start moaning about it at the end of October.
“I’m not sure where we’re going to go next, because options are limited if we want to stay left-handed, although I wouldn’t be against going right-handed again at some stage.
“He’ll certainly get an entry for the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham, and we’ll see nearer the time what looks like being confirmed and go from there.
“The good thing about Sunday is he didn’t have a hard race. They only really raced for a furlong and a half, and at least that means you’ve got a fresh horse the next morning.”