Al Ferof (grey): latest star by the late Dom AlcoPICTURE: Getty Images
Taunton: Dom Alco gelding justifies hype
European Breeders' Fund "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle (Qualifier) (Class 4) 2m3½f, 4-7yo
LAST season's Champion Bumper second Al Ferof made it third time lucky over hurdles in impressive style in this event to set himself up for a crack at the Cheltenham Festival.
The six-year-old runs in the colours of John Hales and is trained by Paul Nicholls, the same connections as another grey son of Dom Alco, dual Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup winner Neptune Collonges. Nicholls also trains another high-class jumper by the stallion, Coral Hurdle winner Silviniaco Conti.
Dom Alco, a Grade 1-placed jumper by Dom Pasquini, died last December aged 23at Haras de Cercy-la-Tour. Asides from the Nicholls-trained trio, he is also the sire Monalco, winner of the Grade 1 Prix d'Automne, and Grands Crus, the winner of a Listed handicap hurdle at Haydock for David Pipe in November.
A half-brother to the French Listed-placed jumper Ardissone (by Martaline), Al Ferof is out of Maltyan, a winning daughter of Altayan (by Posse). He was knocked down for €15,000 to Guy Petit as a foal at the 2005 Arqana December Sale and was unsold four years later at the Brightwells Cheltenham April Sale at £62,000.