Skelton retires popular Al Ferof

Al Ferof has been retired after picking up a minor tendon injury.

Ruby Walsh pictured riding Al Ferof

As the popular grey is now 11, trainer Dan Skelton took the tough decision to call time on the career of the John Hales-owned chaser.

In his pomp he won the 2011 Supreme Novices' Hurdle for Paul Nicholls, beating the likes of Sprinter Sacre and Cue Card and while never quite reaching those heights over fences he did finish third in the King George on three occasions.

Writing on his Facebook page Skelton said: "Today was a sad day as the popular yard star Al Ferof has been retired.

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"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.

"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. He's headed home to Lisa Hales' to join Neptune Collonges and a decision will be made about the next chapter of his life in the spring after a nice long rest.

"He's been a great horse for the Hales family over the years for Nicholls' Team Ditcheat and last year for us and he's certainly going to be missed.

"His career highlights were a Supreme Novices', a Henry VIII Chase, 2xAmlin Chase, a Paddy Power and last year's Peterborough.

"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."

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