Skelton retires classy grey Al Ferof following leg injury
Al Ferof: won 11 of his 28 starts and £510,857 in prize-money
PICTURE: Steve Davies Classy grey Al Ferof retired after leg injury
By James Burn 8:17PM 12 OCT 2016
AL FEROF, who had Cue Card and Sprinter Sacre behind him when winning the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011, has been retired after suffering a leg injury.
The grey, who ran in the yellow silks of John Hales, then became a classy chaser for Paul Nicholls before joining the champion trainer's former assistant Dan Skelton last year.
He won the Peterborough Chase on his first start for Skelton and was being prepared for another crack at Huntingdon's feature race, but that plan has been scuppered after the 11-year-old sustained an injury on Wednesday.
"Today was a sad day as the popular yard star Al Ferof has been retired," Skelton's Facebook page reported.
"He unfortunately sustained a minor injury, which given his age, means he has run his last race.
"The injury is a small tear to his flexing 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."
Hales's daughter Lisa will look after Al Ferof while he recovers and then a decision about his long-term future will be made.
"He's been a great horse for the Hales family over the years, for Team Ditcheat and last year for us and he's certainly going to be missed," Skelton's post added.
"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."
A winner of 11 of his 28 starts and £510,857 in prize-money, Al Ferof finished second in the 2010 Champion Bumper before returning to defeat Cue Card and Sprinter Sacre in thrilling fashion in the following year's Supreme.
"I thought we were running for fourth, then third and then it all happened," John Hales said at the time.
The son of Dom Alco then struck at the highest level over fences when winning the Henry VIII Novices' Chase. Other major victories included a Paddy Power Gold Cup and two 1965 Chases at Ascot. He was also third in the King George VI Chase three times.