Amlin 1965 Chase

Grade 2, Ascot 14:05
£50,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 3f, Class 1
Saturday 22nd November 2014

1 Al Ferof 5/2F
2 Somersby 9/1
3 Wishfull Thinking 9/2
6 ran Distances: 7l, 2l, 1¾l
TIME 4m 43.70s (slow by 9.70s)

Al Ferof wins the Amlin chase ahead of Somersby and Wishful Thinking! A very impressive showing.

Al Ferof
© Racehorse Photos
Al Ferof

The Paul Nicholls-trained grey, despite having been off the track for 254 days, banished any notion of rustiness with a formidable effort under Ruby Walsh in the Grade Two contest over two miles and three furlongs.

Rajdhani Express forged clear and put in some spectacular leaps, but Al Ferof travelled with far greater fluency towards the penultimate fence and when Walsh went for the jugular aboard the 5-2 favourite it was soon over as he powered seven lengths clear.

Somersby overcame a mistake at the last to take second spot, but he was comprehensively beaten, while Wishfull Thinking, winner of the Old Roan Chase at Aintree, was never really a factor until he made marginal late gains.

Owner John Hales said: "It was a good race to win this year, great to see him come back. He was back in the condition he was when he won the BetVictor Gold Cup (in 2012).

"Last year when he won this race, he was downhill afterwards and we couldn't understand why. He was third in the King George, but that wasn't Al Ferof. He was second in the Denman Chase (formerly the Aon) , 30 lengths behind the winner - and that wasn't Al Ferof.

"So Paul and his team got together and discovered he'd got grade four ulcers. Paul discovered that about 10 per cent of his horses had those ulcers and you ask the Americans, grade four ulcers will stop buses. Horses can't cope with that.

"So Paul treated him, we treated him at my daughter's farm and even when he came off grass after 10 or 12 weeks he still had signs of gastric problems, so we treated him and carried on treating him.

"Now you can see the difference. He was giving 11lb - that was impressive. That wasn't just a win - that was an impressive win.

"We will go for the King George and we will take it from there."

Amlin 1965 Chase
£50,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 3f, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Soft

Pos Dist Horse Weight Trainer Age
1st Al Ferof (FR) 5/2f
R Walsh
11-11 P F Nicholls 9
2nd 7 Somersby (IRE) 9/1
A Thornton
11-7 M R Channon 10
3rd 2 Wishfull Thinking 9/2
T J O'Brien
11-7 P J Hobbs 11
4th Rajdhani Express 9/2
Mr S Waley-Cohen
11-1 N J Henderson 7
5th 3 Fox Appeal (IRE) 9/2
Aidan Coleman
11-7 Miss E C Lavelle 7
PU Bury Parade (IRE) 6/1
Nick Scholfield
11-7 P F Nicholls 8