Murphy hopes for prominent performance from Kalahari

FERDY MURPHY hopes a change of tactics will pay off as Kalahari King lines up in today’s Melling Chase, the most competitive middle distance race of the season.

He expects his stable star, second to Albertas Run at the Cheltenham Festival, to be ridden more prominently on a track where the horse won a Grade One race two years ago before falling in the Melling last year.

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As well as Albertas Run, the line-up includes Master Minded, the two-time Champion Chase winner, Tranquil Sea for Ireland and Henrietta knight’s Somersby who is, potentially, the biggest threat to Kalahari King.

“He’s really well. We know he stays two-and-a-half miles. It’s a Flat track so, hopefully, we’ll be a bit more handy,” said the West Witton handler.

O’Neill is, nevertheless, bullish about the prospects of Albertas Run – even though the horse’s post-Cheltenham target was uncertain. “Unless he meets a better one, he’ll take all the beating,” said the trainer.