Goodbye to a Grand Dam!
The co-founder of the Aramis dynasty has sadly passed away at the age of 29. Ara, a chestnut mare, was bought when a three-year-old for £1000 and for a while was Isobel's riding companion around North London before she was moved to Gloucestershire, where she eventually became a champion broodmare. Ara came from good racing stock but had not raced. The other half of the partnership was provided by Kayf Tara, winner of the Ascot Gold Cup (twice), the Irish St Leger (twice), the Goodwood Cup and the Yorkshire Cup. The recurrence of an old injury, however, brought Kayf Tara's racing career to an end. That's where Isobel got lucky. She found out that Kayf Tara was standing for his first year in retirement at the Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire, just a few miles away. An assignation was duly arranged and the rest, as they say, is history. The first of the new Aramis dynasty was born in April 2002 - Kayf Aramis (Kayf from his Sire, Ara from his Dam and Mis from Misty (the pony stabled in the back garden of a house in North London) – who went on to win four races on the flat, including three at the York Dante Festival and three over jumps, including the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham Festival in 2009. In 2005 the next addition to the Aramis family was Kaylifa, who sadly never raced, due to a throat problem. In 2007 the dynasty was increased by the arrival of the exciting Kaylif, who sadly met his death in a training yard accident before he could reach his full potential. The last of the 'Kayfs' is Kaylina. When she was born the vet said Ara had "saved her best till last!” Unfortunately it has not been possible to find out whether that is true as there has been no opportunity to put Kaylina into training. Kaylifa provided two 'grandchildren' for Ara - Zayfire Aramis who has already proved himself a winner, worthy of his sire, Zafeen and Berlief Aramis, a Bertolini colt, who started to make hs mark in the racing world but then had to retire due to an inoperable throat problem.
What a tremendous achievement for a mare who came from humble beginnings to produce such a marvellous family. Ara is already greatly missed by her offspring in the field.
24 January 2020
It has been announced that Ireland's champion trainer, Willie Mullins, is entering Kemboy, Chacun Pour Soi and Faugheen in the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown at the beginning of February. The Closutton stable will be well represented on both days of the fixture, bidding for a share of the eight Grade One prizes on offer. Kemboy, who goes for the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup is set to be a leading member of the team. The eight-year-old seems to have benefited greatly from his first run of the season, when he came fourth in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting.
Going fo Gold
The Pat Kelly-trained Presenting Percy was due to go for his hat-trick in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle but owner, Philip Reynolds, has now decided that next month's Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown is the next target. This Sir Percy gelding won the Galmoy Hurdle for the second time at Gowran Park last year before being sent off favourite for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup but the nine-year-old finished a disappointing eighth at Prestbury Park. Since then he has produced two creditable performances this season, coming third in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase and fifth in Leopardstown's Savills Chase in December.
Having ended a losing run with an impressive victory in a handicap at Wetherby last month, the Dan Skelton-trained Marracudja took a huge step up in class in the Clarence House Chase and, as expected, was the 66-1 outsider of five runners. The nine-year-old, however, came home strongly to claim third place, just seven and a half lengths behind the winner Defi Du Seuil and just under five behind the runner-up, Un De Sceaux. The Warwickshire-based trainer now fears it will be a long time before this Martaline gelding returns to the winner's enclosure as he has been clobbered by a hefty rise in the weights for his superb effort.