Ballyalton out for the season

Ian Williams' Cheltenham Festival winner Ballyalton is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Ballyalton has been ruled out for the season

He chased home Faugheen at the Festival in 2014, but was forced to miss the following season before being nursed back to peak fitness.

It was a feather in Williams' cap that he won the novices' handicap in March but when upped to Grade One company at Aintree, he picked up a knock and his owner, golfer Lee Westwood's dad John, will need to be patient once more.

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"Ballyalton gave me, my staff, my family and my owners, especially John and Lee Westwood, the most emotional and amazing day in March when winning at the Festival," Williams told

"Ballyalton has always been a class act and showed when second to Faugheen in the Neptune in 2014 that he was a top-class racehorse.

"However, his career has repeatedly been interrupted by injuries and setbacks, so it has been a case of having to be patient.

"When he disappointed in the Grade One at Aintree in April, it transpired there was a reason for that and, sadly, the knock he sustained has not recovered sufficiently for him to race this season.

"However, as he proved in March, Ballyalton is a special horse and having twice come back in his career from setbacks, who's to say that he won't emulate the legendary Muhammad Ali and come back for a third time in 2017."

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