‘He’s been a great horse’: Dan Skelton’s stable star retires

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  • Al Ferof, who ran in the famous yellow silks of owner John Hales, has been retired from the racecourse after picking up a leg injury.

    The 11-year-old gelding won more than £500,000 in prize-money during his career and defeated Cue Card and Sprinter Sacre in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011.

    The popular grey was trained by Paul Nicholls before moving to the trainer’s former assistant Dan Skelton last year.

    Having won the 2015 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, Al Ferof was being targeted at the race again this year before sustaining a minor tendon injury.

    Today was a sad day as the yard star Al Ferof has been retired. He unfortunately sustained a minor injury which given his age means he has run his last race. It was highly likely his run to defend the Peterborough Chase was to be his last but it was not to be,” Dan posted on Facebook on Wednesday (12 October).

    “The injury is a small tear to his flexor tendon, otherwise known as a ‘leg’, but it’s a very small tear and he’s not in any pain or has been lame at all.

    “He’s been a great horse for the Hales family over the years, for Nicholls’ team and last year for us — he’s certainly going to be missed. We consider ourselves lucky to have had such a horse and we all wish him well for the future, he’s got plenty more fun days ahead of him.”

    Continued below…

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    Al Ferof will begin his retirement at the home of Lisa Hales alongside Grand National victor Neptune Collonges — he’ll enjoy a rest until spring before his ‘next chapter’ is decided.

    As well as his victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, he also won two Amlin Chases at Ascot and the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in 2012.

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