Roger Charlton with Al Kazeem after his victory at the Curragh in MayThe great Al Kazeem is retired from racing and leaves Beckhampton to go to stud again
Al Kazeem is leaving Roger Charlton's Beckhampton training yard - retired from racing and going to his owner's stud. This will be the second time he has been retired and gone to stud. The first time he proved sub-fertile and returned successfully to Beckampton and to racing.
But in May Al Kazeem suffered an injury when he won the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh - the second time he had won the race. After a month off he got back to cantering and was sound. But his owner John Deer thought it time to retire him.
He was bred at John Deer's Oakgrove Stud near Chepstow - and is now going back there to stand again in 2016.
Al Kazeem was one of the racing world's top middle distance racehorses.
Before his first retirement, Al Kazeem had a string of wins. From May 2012 to July 2013 he won five top-ranking races in a row.
When he returned from stud the seven-year old won two races - including that victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on 24 May 2015.
Roger Charlton said: "At Beckhampton we will miss him greatly. He strides out of his box with tremendous enthusiasm every day."
"He is so honest and never gives up, so much so, that John and I are worried that he may injure himself further in our attempt to bring him back for the Group One Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot."
"He was a pleasure to train, but one can't underestimate the care that goes into looking after a horse like Al Kazeem."
His earnings to date stand at £1,573,596.
You can watch Al Kazeem take his second Tattersalls Gold Cup here - a very thrilling race.
Photo: copyright WBY Horse Racing Photography - by kind permission of Daniel Heap
Barbury cross country 2015: Nicholson and Avebury take the Keyflow jump in the arenaAchieving what many thought nigh on impossible, Andrew Nicholson and the fifteen- year-old gelding Avebury won their fourth CIC3* title at the St James's Place Barbury International Horse Trials.
No sooner had the horseboxes left the Marlborough Downs than thoughts turned to another possible four-in-a-row record. Can the pair win the Land Rover Burghley CIC4* (3-6 September) again after winning in 2012, 2013 and 2014?
Finding that Avebury's height is 16.2 is as disconcerting as finding that Maria Sharapova is six feet two. Leaving the tall tennis players to perfect her first serve, it can only be said that the less than tall Avebury is both remarkably tough and remarkably nimble.
How unlike the 16.2 horse I rode as an early teenager - which dumped me on the far side of a very wee jump: "This will be your first jump - and he's only a pony really" - his owner had assured me.
Avebury missed this year's Badminton because of a minor chipped bone. And he did not enjoy the Kentucky CIC4* in April 2014 - but then I don't much like air travel either.
Andrew Nicholson says Avebury has a special relationship with Barbury and with Burghley - and he should know. Here's to another four times record!
FULL THROTTLENaughty Full Trottle proves his worth
When Laura Thomas' father, Norman, brought his latest purchase at the DBS Newbury Sale into her training yard, she was not impressed: "Where did you get that from?" He certainly had a good Irish name!
Laura, who trains at Hackpen Farm just below Barbury Castle, described the Irish-bred gelding as "Properly nutty! He's naughty to ride, and is very green and a bit hairy, but he's getting better. He might almost be my favourite soon."
Now a six-year old, he has got so much better that he won the Maiden Hunters' Chase at Fontwell on May 14. Amateur jockey Johnny Bailey brought him home to win by one and three-quarter lengths. Full Trottle would have been ridden by Katy Lyons but she chose to ride the horse that came fourth in the Fontwell race: the Irish-bred nine year-old Carnglave Cat.
Photo of Full Trottle winning at Fontwell by kind permission of Julie Drewett (racehorsephotos.co.uk)
Brujo was found by Gary Witheford when he travelled to Andalusia in Spain in April, 2002. When Gary met him he was in a poor way, he was a big grey colt tied to a wall, with a serreta iron [a serrated band] on his nose and they said he was crazy and he was going to be shot for meat that evening.
When he finally arrived in Burbage the top of his tail was absolutely raw where he had sat down in the lorry and he didn’t understand what grass was. Now he is a truly amazing horse, now 19 years old and in fine form, he has some very talented progeny on the competition circuit and is also the star of Gary Witheford’s demonstrations around the country.
He is, like his owner, a workaholic and relishes the chance to give Gary a run for his money – the next event will be at Lingfield Racecourse on 11th April so if you want to see them in action why not enjoy a day at the races too? Visit the event page on Gary’s Facebook page for further info.