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spl carruthers 14 feb 09

Carruthers: the Grade 2-winning chaser is a fine advert for Kayf Tara

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Sweeting 'thrilled' with Kayf Tara TBA award

OVERBURY Stud manager Simon Sweeting has said he is 'thrilled' with the Whitbread Silver Salver given to the farm's resident Kayf Tara by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association in reconition of the stallion being the leading British-based jumps sire by progeny earnings in 2009.

Kayf Tara, a son of Sadler's Wells and a brother to Opera House, won two renewals of the Ascot Gold Cup and the Irish St Leger. Owned by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation, he has stood at Overbury Stud since retiring from racing in 2000, and is about to embark on his tenth season at stud next year.

Sweeting said: "We are absolutelythrilled to receive the Whitbread Silver Salver. He is still a very young horse, so to achieve this relatively quickly for a National Hunt stallion is great.

"The strength of horses that are standing in Britain now, compared to what they have got in Ireland, is improving all the time, so the competition is getting hotter. It is a real thrill to have the chap at the top of our pile.

"It would be nicer if he was a little bit closer to the top of the whole list but hopefully we will get a little bit higher up as time goes by. His oldest progeny are still only seven years old, so they're only young."

Kayf Tara enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2009, with his progeny including Haldon GoldCup winner Planet Of Sound and fellow Grade 2 winners Carruthers, Clan Tara, Kornati Kid and Tarablaze, as well as Cheltenham Festival scorer Kayf Aramis.

Sweeting added: "With a racehorse like him – a championtwo years running – one expects him to do well but there are so many top racehorses with good pedigrees that don't. So, the first thing to say is that, on paper, he looked the real deal and we have been very fortunate that he has proven to be just that.

"The second thing to draw attention to is the support of Sheikh Mohammed and his decision to let Kayf Tara stand in this country. He could have easily taken the easy option with a potential National Hunt stallion and sent him to Ireland.

"And of course, he could have made a good buck in the meantime with all the offers that have been coming in. So we are very lucky that Sheikh Mohammed has stuck with it and let us get to this stage because there have been many opportunities for him to go to Ireland. Hopefully Kayf Tara will remain here and see it right through.

"He has been with us since day one and covered 275 mares this year. Like most stallions, he was very popular early on when he was fresh in people's minds as a racehorse. He covered 160 to 200 mares for the first three years and then it went down, although there was only one year that he did not cover 100 mares.

"When he started to have success on the track, it pushed up very quickly again. We are very fortunate that he is a fertile horse, he has a very strong libido and he will cover a lot of mares. He is one of those horses that is happier the harder he is working.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have the award and to have him to keep us going. He has made life a lot easier through this recession and we certainly appreciate it."

Kayf Tara will stand at Overbury Stud at a fee of £4,500 next year.

 

 

 

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