Having been the stalwart at Overbury Stud for many years, Simon Sweeting is looking forward to leading National Hunt stallion Kayf Tara covering some mares at the grand old age of 26.
The son of Sadler’s Wells, who began his stud career at the Gloucestershire operation in 2001, has supplied a number of top-class jumpers including Thistlecrack, Special Tiara and most recently Thyme Hill, winner of the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle.
Sweeting, who manages Overbury Stud, said: “If you saw Kayf Tara, you’d think he’s still a 16-year-old. How long he’s going to go on we just don’t know, but we’re delighted to still have him with us.
“The intention is that he will cover some mare years this year and we look forward to that.”
There’s been plenty for the stud to celebrate, as they are also the breeders of the Philip Hobbs-trained Thyme Hill, who is unbeaten in three starts this season for his owners the Englands and Heywoods.
Plans now call for the six-year-old to head to the Cheltenham Festival, a prospect that greatly excites both Sweeting and everyone involved at Overbury.
“I believe he is going straight to Cheltenham although we don’t know which race yet,” said Sweeting. “It’s very exciting to have a runner like that and whatever happens at Cheltenham he is a top-class horse, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.
“There’s also Edwardstone who was unlucky to be beaten at Haydock; I think Sam Twiston-Davies [riding Stolen Silver] was in a mood that he wasn’t going to be beaten! He’s still a very good horse and I’d be excited about him going forward.
“There are some very nice young horses coming along for Kayf Tara.”
Sweeting does have one eye on the future for Overbury’s National Hunt division through Irish Derby hero Jack Hobbs and the well-bred Frontiersman, whose first crop of foals are due to arrive imminently.
He said: “Kayf Tara has been the backbone of Overbury Stud since I’ve been here. Obviously, you have to be looking forward and those are the two horses [Jack Hobbs and Frontiersman] that we hope can fill his boots.
“It’s a very long job. It’s going to be three or four years before we know anything serious about what Jack Hobbs and Frontiersman can do. We do the work and they both have had good quality books of mares so far, so they’ll have the chance to prove themselves.”
Overbury welcomed a new recruit to its roster for 2020 in the shape of Group 3 Jersey Stakes victor Le Brivido, who was beaten only a short-head by Brametot in the 2017 Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
With his opening fee set at £7,000, the son of Siyouni will feature in this week’s TBA Flat Stallion Parade ahead of the first session of the Tattersalls February Sale.
“The Siyouni line is very, very exciting and it’ll be fascinating to see how it does go on,” said Sweeting. “Obviously, this is the start of that and Le Brivido is as exciting a stallion as there is in Europe at the moment.
“Le Brivido was an exceptional racehorse on his day and we’ll hope that he can pass that on. We’re going to get some good mares to him, bookings are going well, and we obviously want to show him to a wider audience and make sure everybody has had a chance to look at him.”