It’s close on 10 years since Cheltenham Champion, KAYF ARAMIS, made his debut at Sandown. It wasn’t, admittedly, an auspicious occasion.
First, it was a 7-furlong sprint on Good to Firm ground, both of which would prove inappropriate for the future successful two-mile-plus stayer. Also his inexperience, or even lack of training, showed when the opening stalls gave him such a fright that he left a deposit behind before setting out belatedly, some 16 lengths behind his eleven rivals.
Interestingly he ran with guts and determination after that experience and finished exactly the same distance behind as he had started. Afterwards, a vet discovered that he had some form of virus and should not have run.
The good news is his brother is back today at the same track to avenge his sibling in the last race of the day, the bet365 Handicap Hurdle. The seven-year-old ran a big race in the Dominican Republic Handicap Hurdle at Aintree at the beginning of the month, coming swiftly from the rear to take second place.
His 5-length victory at Ascot in the Great British Drama Handicap Hurdle at the beginning of February has finally started to attract more attention from punters and bookies alike for another successful member of the ARAMIS family, so much so that he is the Favourite right across the board at Oddschecker.
Oh. The brother’s name? Those who are good at anagrams have already worked that out:- A FAMILIAR SKY – KAYLIF ARAMIS!
YES SIRE, HE’S MY BABY!
The bet365 Celebration Chase has never been won by the reigning two-mile Champion Chase winner since it was introduced in 2001. SIRE DE GRUGY has plans to do something about that.
He could well finish off the season with success in this Grade 1 event, which he won last year. The eight-year-old son of MY RISK has a 16lb advantage on official ratings so he perhaps doesn’t have to be at his best to win.
It seems that trainer, Gary Moore, thinks he is in as good a form as he was for the Cheltenham Festival. He originally had worries about the Sandown ground being too quick which might have meant that SIRE DE GRUGY wouldn’t run. That situation has now changed, however, because there has now been some rain so the public will have a chance to see this Cheltenham favourite run after all.
As the trainer said yesterday: “He’s been in great form. He took a good week to get over Cheltenham but the last two or three weeks his work has been fantastic. He’s working as well as he’s ever worked. He schooled good this morning and did so early in the week.”
I have been interested in horseracing for many years. I had my first experience of betting when my under-aged daughter (who looked 18!) dragged me into a betting shop and picked out a winner. I barely knew how to fill in the betting slip! There were a few smirks from behind the counter. But we won at 16/1!!
This equine interest was intensified in 2000 when my daughter Isobel, surprisingly, decided to start breeding race horses and was successful with Kayf Aramis, the 2009 Pertemps Final champion at Cheltenham. She has since bred other horses in the Aramis line which are tipped to do well.
To give her encouragement and a daily interest for her members, I started writing three years ago a couple of pieces a day for her website: http://www.aramisracing.co.uk/ Mostly I am intrigued by the human stories behind the racing scene but occasionally I suss out a good tip – which I pass on!