After 20 seasons at stud, declining fertility has led to the retirement of Kayf Tara from stallion duties. The 26-year-old, who remains in fine fettle and good health, will live out his years at Overbury Stud, where he moved after winning the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for the second time in 2000.

Having been a three-time Champion Stayer on the racecourse, Kayf Tara has notched up 11 UK Championships as a National Hunt stallion ~ and the big crops he has conceived at £10,000, the oldest of whom are only two-year-olds, promise to keep his name in lights for many seasons to come, both on the track and in the sales ring.

His very first winner was Ruby Wine in the Listed Ballymacoll Stud Stakes, an Oaks trial, back in 2005, but of course his greatest achievements have come over the jumps. The magnificent Horse of the Year Thistlecrack, so exceptional in the 2016 King George when trouncing Cue Card, is his highest-rated performer. Champion chaser Special Cargo, doughty Irish Gold Cup winner Edwulf and the unforgettable Hennessy hero of 2011 Carruthers (who had Planet Of Sound, also by Kayf Tara, back in second that day) are other highlights in a career which has seen him crowned Champion sire more times than any other stallion in British jumping history.

Paying tribute, Simon Sweeting said, ‘I feel very lucky to have been with Kayf Tara every step of the way through his amazing career as a jump stallion, and extraordinarily grateful to Sheikh Mohammed and the Darley team for entrusting him to us. He’s been such a great servant to the National Hunt game, siring many breeders’ best ever horse, and affording race fans some great sport. He retires fit and well, and is a fresh and lively as a youngster.’