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Al Ferof

Age: 7

Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Notable Race Wins:-

Supreme Novices' Hurdle: 2011

Having been blitzed into second place by the ultra-impressive Cue Card in the 2010 Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, you wouldn't have been on your own thinking that Al Ferof would not be able to turn the tables on Colin Tizzard's stable star in the 2011 Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

However, when Ruby Walsh got Al Ferof motoring down the Cheltenham home straight he merely careered past Cue Card and was left battling it out for novice glory with the Nicky Henderson duo of Spirit Son and Sprinter Sacre.

A classy pairing in their own right, Al Ferof duly dispatched them with aplomb to win by two lengths to end the 2010/2011 national hunt season on a winning note.

Now the Ditcheat inmate will be one of the most eagerly-anticipated novice chasers as he looks to make the transition to the larger obstacles and is bound to be an eyecatching recruit and is sure to be in the ante-post markets for the Arkle Challenge Trophy.

Destined to lock horns with last season's Champion Hurdle runner-up Peddlers Cross at Bangor in November, Nicholls will certainly be able to gauge what level Al Ferof is at early in his chasing career.  If he can perform admirably against the class Donald McCain inmate then he isdefinitely one to watch in novice chases throughout the 2011/2012 campaign.

Potential Races for 2011/2012 Season

Arkle Challenge Trophy

Form for 2011/2012 Season

  • 13/11/11 - Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase - Cheltenham (1st of 7 - SP 5/6 Fav) - All eyes were on Al Ferof as he was sent off a short-priced favourite for the Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham and he didn't disappoint as he sauntered to a seven length success.  Jumping fluently throughout, Ruby Walsh never had to get busy with the 2011 Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner as he comforably beat Astracad by seven lengths in an imperious performance.
  • 03/12/11 - Henry VIII Novices' Chase - Sandown Park (1st of 7 - SP 4/11 Fav) - After breezing to victory on his chasing debut, Al Ferof was sent off a short-priced favourite for the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, but backers were made to sweat for their money.  Going clear down the home straight, Ruby Walsh could not get rid of For Non Stop as they drew clear of their rivals.  Eventually, Al Ferof managed to hold on to victory by a neck to maintain his 1000% record.
  • 21/01/12 - Victor Chandler Chase - Ascot (3rd of 8 - SP 5/2 JF) - Thrown into the deep end by Paul Nicholls, Al Ferof lost hos 100% record over fences after finishing third in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot.  Comfortably beaten by Somersby and Finian's Rainbow, the Ditcheat inmate is likely to be sent back to the novice sphere and contest the Arkle come March.
  • 13/03/12 - Arkle Challenge trophy - Cheltenham (4th of 6 - SP 3/1) - Sent off second favourite for the Arkle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, Al Ferof had a stiff task on his hands to beat the incomparable Sprinter Sacre and his chance was all-but gone when he made a crushing mistake a few fences from home.  Ruby Walsh was unable to pick his mount up and he eventually finished fourth place in a disappointing finish.

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