Zayfire, Kaylif and Kayf Aramis in the field at home  

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21 Feb 2013


 Just over a week ago I had a couple for him at Wetherby including Kayf Aramis, who is a former Cheltenham Festival winner. He’s been there, done it and got the t-shirt. His race at Wetherby was his eighty-second start, and he was keen to get going. He was soon in his rhythm with the others struggling to keep up. He went past the winning post the first time travelling and jumping really well, he came around again passing the winning post for the second time. Here he decided that his job must be done and tried to pull himself up! He thought we only had to go around twice; lucky for me I was doing the counting. So off we went for another circuit but I was squeezing him along now at this stage. I turned into the home straight in front but I was under pressure and Kayf was getting tired. Until now Kayf has raced 40 times over hurdles with many different jockeys and never made a mistake but at the second last, he dived at it and nearly came down. Trust me, he had the will to remain on his feet and somehow stayed upright and went on to finish third. Most other horse would have laid down

Riding Zayfire Aramis in the bumper was always going to be exciting. I rode down to the start in the company of another horse.  However, just as I turned and said he was. OK, Zayfire promptly jinked at a hurdle and put me on the floor! Luckily Zayfire was caught easily, and there were no further incidents. I rode him in the middle of the pack and he travelled well, at the final bend I asked him to quicken, which he did - just not as quick as the two favourites. He stayed on well for third, a great result for his first race with lots of promise for the future and he should be winning races. Kayf Aramis and Zayfire Aramis run for the club. A fun club based at Nigel Twiston-Davies’, where members enjoy visits to the gallops and owners’ badges to the races as well as a share of prize money, all for just £75 a year! There were 20 club members at Wetherby to cheer on the horses and greet him into the winner’s enclosure. It’s always a good feeling when you come back in and everyone is happy. G-6

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Johnny Murtagh will struggle to ride an easier winner this season than Kayf Aramis in Stakes. Murtagh nudged him into the lead turning into the straight and powered clear to win hard held by 13 lengths from Rose Bien.

Trainer Venetia Williams said: "Johnny carried the instructions out to the letter, the Cesarewitch is the plan and I thought we needed to go up seven or eight pounds to get in. I thought it might take us two races but I think Johnny has managed it in one!"

On guard as Venetia takes the one-for-all approach with Aramis; Alastair Down sees the Knavesmire conquered by a Cheltenham and Aintree hero


Byline: Alastair Down 

AGENIUS trainer who has enjoyed spectacular success at the two biggest meetings of the year so far and won the most famous race of them all struck again on the Knavesmire yesterday when Kayf Aramis won the concluding handicap over the extended trip of an extremely long way indeed.. 

They say the poor are always with us, but so is the elegant figure of Venetia Williams - Cheltenham, Aintree, York, they all come alike to the great woman, though the way she drives it probably takes no more than an hour to get here from her Herefordshire base. 

And Venetia has hardly started. The orders she gave to Johnny Murtagh were along the lines "win as far as you can and then some. Get ten lengths clear and then kick on" - as Miss Williams' plans for world domination now include the Ascot Stakes at the royal meeting en route to her main target of the Cesarewitch in the autumn at Newmarket. 


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