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.
02 June 2020
"The wait is over!" cried commentator, Darren Owen, as the stalls crashed open for the Betway Welcome Back British Racing Handicap at Newcastle yesterday. This was the first race of the strangest Flat fixture ever staged. There were no spectators and admission was restricted to 'key personnel' who had done an online course in Covid-19, completed a medical questionnaire and passed a temperature check when they entered the track. The jockeys followed a one-way system on the ground floor of the stand, which had been converted into a weighing room with the space to allow two-metre social distancing and strode into the parade ring where there just a few key personnel wearing masks. Racing organisers were quick out of the stalls after permission was given to resume racing behind 'closed doors', beating all other major professional sports to the mark. Its equine athletes had not missed a day's work-out on the gallops, other sportsmen such as footballers and rugby players had had to come to terms with socially distanced training. 102 seconds after the off, the fast-starting Zodiakos, trained by Roger Fell and ridden by James Sullivan became the first winner of a British horse race for 76 days.