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Cheltenham Festival winner Kayf Aramis retires

Kayf Tara’s dual-purpose star bows out after 85 runs, seven wins and 23 places 11 November 2103


Kayf Aramis, a member of Kayf Tara’s first crop, has been retired from racing at the age of 11, with an honourable 85 career starts to his name, including a memorable Listed hurdle victory at the Cheltenham Festival in 2009.

Bred by Isobel Phipps Coltman from the Birthright mare Ara, Kayf Aramis made his first appearance on the racecourse as a two-year-old and was placed at three but really hit his straps the following year.

On his seasonal debut as a four-year-old he made virtually all the running to land a 2m1f handicap at Bath and came back the following month at York to get the better of another accomplished dual-purpose performer, Overstrand, to win the Sportsman Racing Stakes at York’s Dante Meeting.

Over the ensuing years, the tough little gelding was partnered by 25 different jockeys and added another two Flat wins to his record at York but arguably his finest hour came when getting the better of Buena Vista by two lengths to win the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham – one of three victories over hurdles.

He holds the distinction of being one of only a small band of horses to have competed at both the major Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals and at Royal Ascot, giving his owners and fan club plenty of memorable days out over his ten years in training.

Paying tribute to his achievement, a statement from the Kayf Aramis Racing Club read: “The next stage is not yet decided but Kayf Aramis is surely too young to hang up his shoes. Perhaps, following the example of previous champions, such as Kauto Star, who is now tackling dressage, Kayf Aramis could retrain as a showjumper. He certainly has the stamina, potential ability and resilience to to take on such a new career. What is sure, however, is that the legendary inspiration for the Aramis Racing Club will continue to delight his fans.

“One of the outstanding races on the flat was undoubtedly in partnership with Johnny Murtagh when Kayf Aramis, on his final appearance at York in May 2009, won theripleycollection.com Stakes by 13 lengths.

“Members will still be able to follow him on the website and receive information via newsletter as well as keep an eye on the rest of his family: Kaylifa, Zayfire, Berlyf, Kaylina and, of course, Kaylif, a full brother to Kayf Aramis, who, although now with other owners, is still trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, alongside Zayfire."