Ballyalton season shut down

2016-10-13 15:15:00, Views: 2, ClubCall

Ballyalton season shut down

Connections are hopeful that Ballyalton will return next year after yet another injury ended his season.

The nine-year-old, owned by golfer Lee Westwood and his dad John, made four starts in 2016 and won the most important of them all, taking the Listed Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham back in March.

Having missed the 2015 campaign, the son of Pierre looked back to his best earlier this year but is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Winning at the Festival was especially pleasing for trainer Ian Williams and his owners, and the Worcestershire handler is hopeful that the gelding might bounce back once more.

"His career has repeatedly been interrupted by injuries and setbacks, so it has been a case of having to be patient," he told www.ianwilliamsracing.com. "When he disappointed in the Grade One at Aintree in April, it transpired there was a reason for that and, sadly, the knock he sustained has not recovered sufficiently for him to race this season.

"However, as he proved in March, Ballyalton is a special horse and having twice come back in his career from setbacks, who's to say that he won't emulate the legendary Muhammad Ali and come back for a third time in 2017."