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.
13 July 2020
Farewell to a Champ!
A legendary Irish National Hunt jockey has called it a day. 40-year-old Barry Geraghty won a whole host of jump racing's top prizes, including the 2003 Grand National at Aintree on Monty's Pass and two Cheltenham Gold Cups with Kicking King (2005) and Bobs Worth (2013). The County Meath-born rider rode five winners at this year's Cheltenham Festival, including Epatante in the Champion Hurdle - his fourth success in the Grade One feature following Punjabi (2009), Jezki (2014) and Buveur D'Air (2018) - and Champ, who grabbed a memorable last-minute success in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase. Barry Geraghty missed 18 months of the last five years through injury, having broken both legs, both arms, ribs, a shoulder blade and a few other small fractures in between. The eight broken ribs and punctured lung in 2017 ruled him of Cheltenham and then the broken arm at Fairyhouse in April only 11 days after returning from recovering from the broken ribs were both tough injuries which just came at the wrong time. His last injury, a broken leg just before last year's Grand National at Aintree, was probably the last straw and made him realise that he should take on something else less dangerous at his age. Barry Geraghty bows out with a total of 43 Festival winners during his career, which is second only to Ruby Walsh, who tops the all-time charts with 59 and ahead of Tony McCoy on 31.