Al Ferof can outlast favourite Sprinter Sacre once more

Owner John Hales is relishing the prospect of Al Ferof’s rematch with Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham next month.

Sprinter Sacre is poised to go off a short-priced favourite when he lines up for the Racing Post Arkle Trophy on the opening day of the Festival.

But Hales is taking heart from the fact Al Ferof, who has taken well to fences himself, stormed up the famous Cheltenham hill 12 months ago to land the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – two lengths ahead of Sprinter Sacre.

Hales said: “He is all set for the Arkle.

“It was a brilliant performance from Sprinter Sacre on a flat track (at Newbury) but we did him last year up the hill and our horse is stronger now as well. We are looking forward to it.”