Kayf Tara, a treble Champion Stayer for Godolphin and 11-time British Champion National Hunt Sire, died peacefully in his paddock this morning following the routine he’d had since arriving at Overbury Stud. He was 28.

Kayf Tara’s enduring legacy was evident as recently as Saturday when his eight-year-old son Edwardstone landed his third Grade 1 victory in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown. He is joined on the list of top-class jumpers sired during Kayf Tara’s 20 seasons at stud by Horse of the Year Thistlecrack, so exceptional in the 2016 King George, Champion chaser Special Tiara, Irish Gold Cup winner Edwulf and the unforgettable Hennessy hero of 2011, Carruthers. His very first winner came with Ruby Wine in a Listed Oaks trial, the Ballymacoll Stud Stakes.

Declining fertility led to the retirement of Kayf Tara from stallion duties in 2020, the year his final crop of foals was born. He spent his last two years of happy retirement at Overbury Stud, where he had moved after winning the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for the second time in 2000.

The son of Sadler’s Wells and Colorspin, a daughter of the great Meon Valley Stud matriarch Reprocolor, Kayf Tara was a full-brother to fellow Group 1 winner Opera House and was bought from his breeder by Sheikh Mohammed for 210,000gns as a yearling. Trained as a three-year-old by Sir Michael Stoute, he blossomed into an outstanding campaigner for Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor. Through four seasons of racing, he won ten of his 15 starts, including two Gold Cups, two Irish St Legers, the Goodwood Cup and the Yorkshire Cup.

Simon Sweeting paid tribute to Kayf Tara, who was the first stallion to retire to Overbury Stud under his tenure as manager. ‘This is a very sad day for all of us at Overbury. Kayf Tara really put us on the map and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been with him through every step of what transpired to be an extraordinary career as a jump stallion, in which he won more championships than any other British National Hunt sire in history.

“I remain immensely 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 and to Overbury Stud, where he was looked after for most of his time by Dan Matty. We will miss him terribly.”

Sam Bullard, Darley’s Director of Stallions, said, “We are all very grateful to Simon Sweeting and his team at Overbury for taking such great care of Kayf Tara for all these years, and we are very proud of the enormous contribution he has made to National Hunt racing and breeding in Britain and beyond during that time.”

Kayf Tara’s final public appearance was at a parade in September to introduce clients of Overbury Stud to Golden Horn – those present were as delighted by him as they were by the Derby hero.