Ascot: Fantastic Ferof claims second Amlin success

Al Ferof

Al Ferof: posted second successive win in Ascot race

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Report: Ascot, Saturday

Amlin 1965 Chase (Grade 2) 2m3f, 4yo+

AL FEROF claimed back-to-back victories in this Ascot contest with a steady, stable round of jumping before charging clear of his rivals after popping over the final fence.

Given trainer Paul Nicholls believed the grey would benefit from the run, Al Ferof laid down a marker for the season ahead with a seven-length dismissal of Somersby as the 5-2 favourite.

Indeed the performance left bookmakers impressed with Paddy Power slashing the John Hales-owned nine-year-old to 8-1 (from 20) for the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton next month.

It was a fairly unremarkable performance from Al Ferof for much of the race as he travelled and jumped smoothly for jockey Ruby Walsh, although a small error at the fourth-last fence, when he dragged his back legs through the obstacle, had his rider nudging away.

Back on the bridle on the turn for home, Al Ferof produced two exquisite leaps at the final two fences before motoring clear of a labouring Somersby in the run to the line.

Walsh said: “He settled well and jumped super bar the fourth last. I had loads of horse under me turning and he got a bit tired in the last furlong like Paul said he would. It was a good performance.”

Somersby had given Al Ferof the toughest challenge and only faded between the last two fences while Wishfull Thinking came home for third past the tiring frontrunner Rajdhani Express.

Mick Channon, trainer of Somersby, said: “We thought he would run well and we’re absolutely thrilled with him. I wasn’t worried by [his last run] as I knew he would need the run. He always runs well here as well. All options are open.”

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