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How the lethal weapon Kalashnikov was bred

A look at the pedigree of the Betfair Hurdle hotshot

Kalashnikov on his way to victory in the Betfair Hurdle
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Kalashnikov, who continued his rise through the novice hurdling ranks with an impressive victory in the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle on Saturday, is from a family his trainer and owner, Amy Murphy and father Paul Murphy, know well – and one that has a habit of coming up with jumps superstars.

The five-year-old gelding, who hacked up by four and a half lengths at Newbury under Jack Quinlan, is a full-brother to Kalane, purchased by the Murphys for €32,000 as a foal at Tattersalls Ireland and later a talented mare over hurdles and fences for Charlie Longsdon and then Amy Murphy herself, who sent her out to win a Listed mares' chase at Doncaster on her final start.

Kalane has since been retired to Paul Murphy's high-class broodmare band and she visited Derby hero Sir Percy for her maiden cover last year.

Kalashnikov – a €35,000 purchase as a foal at Fairyhouse – and Kalane are also half-siblings to Pixie Lane, a daughter of Gamut who won a Cork handicap hurdle for Colin Bowe last July.

The trio were bred by Michael Hickey's Sunnyhill Stud out of the unraced Fairy Lane, who has a pedigree emblematic of the operation's success, as she is by its late, great stallion Old Vic out of its high-achieving broodmare Fairy Blaze.

Fairy Blaze, a daughter of Good Thyne, produced nine winners for Hickey headed by the outstanding chaser Kicking King, also by Old Vic.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup and dual King George VI winner was one of four black-type jumpers out of the dam, as she also produced the smart Four Commanders (another for Old Vic), Colonel Monroe and Whistle Dixie.

Fairy Blaze died in 2014 and her last foal, the Shantou five-year-old Myth Buster, was a €100,000 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale purchase in 2016 and made his debut for trainer Henry de Bromhead and owner Chris Jones last month, finishing seventh in a Fairyhouse bumper – but, if his family is anything to go by, he can be expected to improve for stiffer tests.

Fairy Lane, who carried on her dam's legacy so well until she passed away last year, has lots of young daughters to represent her in future – a four-year-old filly by Shantou, a three-year-old filly by Stowaway, a two-year-old filly by Sageburg and another yearling filly by Sageburg.

Kalashnikov is another feather in the cap for Boardsmill Stud stalwart Kalanisi, that brilliant middle-distance performer at the turn of the millennium who defeated none other than Montjeu to claim the Champion Stakes and took the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs three weeks later.

Kalanisi, conditioned by Sir Michael Stoute for owner-breeder the Aga Khan, also enjoyed a famous rivalry with Giant's Causeway and went down to the iron horse by narrow margins in the Eclipse and Juddmonte International.

Boardsmill bought the son of Doyoun after a largely unspectacular spell as a Flat stallion at Gilltown Stud, and the horse has fared much better as a fine source of jumpers.

Kalanisi is the sire of Champion Hurdle hero Katchit, the brilliant but ill-fated mare Fayonagh and fellow Grade 1 scorers Barizan and Barters Hill, as well as the smart Alaivan and Brain Power (like Kalashnikov, out of an Old Vic mare).

Boardsmill Stud is offering the 22-year-old to breeders at a fee of €4,000 for the coming breeding season.

Paul Murphy's admiration for this sire and family was displayed once again at last year's Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale as he gave €40,000 for a Kalanisi colt out of Fairy On The Moor, a Presenting half-sister to Kalashnikov.

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E.W. Terms
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