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.
6 December 2019
A Good Hollie Day!
Hollie Doyle notched up her 107th victory of 2019 and thereby became the female jockey with the most wins in a calendar year in Britain. The 23-year-old jockey equalled Josephine Gordon's score of 106, achieved in 2017, at Wolverhampton on Saturday so she did not have to wait too long to beat her friend and colleague. Hollie Doyle was aboard the David Barron-trained Class Clown in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Nursery Handicap at Southwell yesterday. After bringing up the century earlier in the season, only the third woman to notch up a hundred wins in a year after Gordon and Hayley Turner, she stated that her main aim for 2020 was to land a Group-race victory. She has already had five Listed winners, together with success at the Shergar Cup.
Dashel Drasher secured his first victory over fences in the Conservatory Insulations Novices' Chase at Haydock and he did it in impressive style. The Jeremy Scott-trained Passing Glance gelding, a four-time winner over hurdles, came second to Champ on his chasing debut at Newbury the first week in November and then only got as far as the first fence when renewing rivalry with Nicky Henderson's King's Theatre gelding at the same track last week. Just five days later, however, Dashel Drasher made amends and claimed victory by seven lengths.
Gordon Elliott's The Storyteller got back into winning ways in the feature race, the Jim Strang & Sons Kilsheelan (Peugeot) Hurdle at Clonmel. It's over a year since this Shantou gelding won the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival and then went on to claim Grade One glory at Punchestown. The Storyteller seems to have found things a bit tough at the top life since then, even unseating Davy Russell in the American Grand National in October. Back over hurdles for the first time in over two years, the eight-year-old was up against last year's Grand National runner-up, Rathvinden. Martin Hassett's Mary Frances took the seven-strong field along for much of this three-mile contest and certainly had most of her rivals in trouble before the home turn. However, The Storyteller eventually got the better of her and went on to win by a length and a half.