Amlin 1965 Chase
|Grade 2, Ascot
2m 3f, Class 1
|Saturday 23rd November 2013|
1 Al Ferof 1/5F
2 French Opera 7/2
NR: Captain Chris (IRE)
2 ran Distances: 8l
TIME 4m 44.99s (slow by 10.99s)
Al Ferof returned to action with a win in a match with French Opera in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot.
Only three were declared for the £50,000 Grade Two heat, but last year's winner Captain Chris was pulled out in the morning after being found to be lame.
Daryl Jacob set out to make all on Paul Nicholls' grey and he put in some exuberant leaps on the way round, none bigger than at the final fence, where he stood right off but got to the other side without much alarm. French Opera ran creditably enough but was beaten eight lengths by the 1-5 favourite.
Jacob said: "We always knew he would come on for a run, that's why Paul was keen to run before the King George. He jumped great, he was just pricking his ears at the crowd at the last two and reached a bit.
"It was the perfect start for him. The King George is a massive race and we wanted to have a good blow, we didn't want it to turn into a Mickey Mouse race."
Owner John Hales added: "I feel sorry for the sponsors that there were only two runners, but the horse did everything we could expect him to do given it was a two-horse race - he did everything we wanted as a prep for the King George.
"He's in good nick, Paul says he's got a bit more to do with him and we've got to go for the King George now. After that we'll make a decision on the Gold Cup. He should be able to get the Gold Cup trip given decent ground."
Amlin 1965 Chase
£50,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 3f, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft
P F Nicholls
|D A Jacob
|1 - 5
N J Henderson
|7 - 2
P J Hobbs