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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Ferof charged up for PowerHeadlines
Al Ferof

Paul Nicholls hopes Al Ferof can start as he means to go on in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

The grey paid the penalty for trying to force the pace against Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle in March and was then beaten at Aintree, but the champion trainer retains the faith.

"He goes well fresh, he jumped well for Ruby (Walsh) in the week. While it's a tough task at the weights, if he's going to be a genuine Grade One winner of the future he has to be going close off that mark - and the same applies to Grands Crus," said the Ditcheat handler.

"If you look at his form with For Non Stop in the Henry VIII, that's good form. He also ran very well in a Grade One (Victor Chandler) at Ascot against Somersby. He made a mistake in the Arkle which ruled him out of that race and he was over the top by Aintree, so I've put a line through his spring form."

Walsh feels Al Ferof is the right type of horse for the race, telling At The Races: "You need a Graded horse to win it. It's a handicap in a word but not many handicappers win it. They tend to be Graded horses.

"Al Ferof has plenty of weight to give. He has to give Grands Crus 2lb. That shouldn't make much difference, but Grands Crus will be hard to beat and the team at Pond House are bullish.

"You look at Al Ferof's Supreme Novices' form. He is a Grade One horse. If he is going to be a King George horse this season he'll have to go pretty close on Saturday."

Owner John Hales is still on a high after winning the Grand National with Neptune Collonges, but is eyeing more big-race glory, saying: "He has raced over two and a half miles before and done very well. We have our eye on the King George, which he has an entry for.

"If he runs well over two and a half at Cheltenham, that would be the equivalent of three miles on a flat track like Kempton. Paul will make a decision about his next target after the Paddy Power."

Divers was third in the race 12 months ago, and trainer Ferdy Murphy said: "He's in great form. He schooled on Tuesday and worked well on Wednesday. I'm very happy with him. It's a hot contest, but that is exactly what you would expect for the good money on offer."

17 January 2017

Second Thought continues on the up at Kempton
Classy Starchitect up and running over fences at Ayr
Politologue stars in novice entry at Haydock
Contrasting views on Kempton closure from prominent Newmarket figures
Sir Anthony McCoy weighing in heavier since retirement due to chocolate cravings
Cyrus Darius primed for eagerly-awaited weekend return at Haydock
Heartbreak City on course for big handicap date at Leopardstown
Decorated Knight delights Roger Charlton in Kempton spin
Australian jockey Josh Cartwright set to learn fate after riding drama
Richard Fahey anticipating northern support for returning Paul Hanagan
Sire De Grugy skips Clarence House outing at Ascot
Michael Buckley enthused by Brain Power's Ascot performance
Yanworth to tackle Contenders heat with Cheltenham in his sights
Charlemar set to step up in trip following Tolworth disappointment
Petit Mouchoir to face Champion test at Leopardstown
Un De Sceaux team pinpoint Ascot nous as key strength in Clarence House Chase
Bastien blazes a trail to pocket Plumpton prize for Alan King
Fit-again Noel Fehily back in action at Exeter
Godolphin dominate fast-track qualifier as Antiquarium roars at Wolverhampton
Harry Fry guarded against Cleeve complacency for Unowhatimeanharry
Colin Tizzard set to unleash Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Alary at Haydock
Harry Fry plans to chart direct Cheltenham Festival route with American
Gordon Elliott looking to Irish Gold Cup with Empire Of Dirt
Willie Mullins hoping Faugheen will make Irish Champion return

16 January 2017

Jan Faltejsek ends British drought as Fairlee Grey strikes at Ayr
Tributes paid after death of Fakenham maestro Cool Roxy
No plans for Dougie Gittens to appeal against Kelso ban
Un De Sceaux spearheads Clarence House octet at Ascot
Vezelay on course for Cheltenham Trial
Dunphy and Logan banned for two years following Like A Diamond case
Connections mulling Arkle outing for Identity Thief at Leopardstown
Gary Moore lining up Banks raid with Benatar
Amateur rider Dougie Gittins hit with 10-day ban at Kelso
Ballyoisin makes amends for recent fall
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has his say on Kempton closure plans
Jack Kennedy shines as Ball D'Arc keeps up title momentum for Gordon Elliott
Barra banks maiden win at Fairyhouse
Grand National contender One For Arthur excites Peter Scudamore
Jonjo O'Neill on Leopardstown Gold trail with Minella Rocco
Neil Mulholland considers Cleeve Hurdle for Grand National hope The Young Master
Seamus Mullins could go Flat out with Fergall

15 January 2017

My Manekineko set to take Leopardstown plunge
Ball D'Arc proves too good in Dan Moore Memorial at Fairyhouse
John Francome criticises Jockey Club proposals to close Kempton
'Sore' Noel Fehily ruled out of Fairyhouse action
Kelso receives go-ahead
Noel Fehily 'sore' but clear of injury after Warwick spill
One For Arthur powers to Classic Chase glory at Warwick
Willoughby Court impresses for Grade Two honours at Warwick
Tobefair continues winning spree at Warwick
Modus makes no mistake in Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton
American stars in Hampton Novices' Chase at Warwick
Any Second Now floors hotpot Crack Mome at Punchestown
Frost and snow puts paid to Fakenham Sunday card
Fine Rightly looking to show his class at Kelso
Murphy sets sights on Moore glory with Pairofbrowneyes

14 January 2017

Willoughby Court impresses for Grade Two honours at Warwick
Magic show delights Richard Phillips at Warwick
BHA chief Nick Rust hails news of Levy reform
Kelso call Sunday morning check
Pobbles Bay looking to take next step up the ladder at Warwick
Wetherby gets the go-ahead
Government announces Levy reform boost for racing
Nicky Henderson reveals setback for Supreme Novices' contender Jenkins
Alan King 'very happy' with Uxizandre as racecourse return nears
Divin Bere shines in Nicky Henderson hat-trick at Huntingdon
Peregrine Run all set for Warwick raid with Cheltenham in mind
Crack performer Mome puts Supreme credentials on the line at Punchestown
Valseur Lido set to miss rest of the season after meeting with injury setback
Jaleo team hoping he can shine in Lanzarote heat
Shotgun Paddy aiming to hit Classic target at Warwick

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