Kayf Tara forced into retirement by injury

Kayf Tara, twice the winner of the Gold Cup at Ascot, was retired from racing yesterday following a recurrence of an old suspensory injury. The Godolphin-owned six-year-old became a late absentee from tomorrow's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, for which he had been a 7-1 chance in the betting.

Kayf Tara, twice the winner of the Gold Cup at Ascot, was retired from racing yesterday following a recurrence of an old suspensory injury. The Godolphin-owned six-year-old became a late absentee from tomorrow's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, for which he had been a 7-1 chance in the betting.

A stud career now awaits Kayf Tara, who took his tally to eight Pattern races - the most achieved by any Godolphin horse - with a victory in his last race, the Gold Cup, at Royal Ascot last month. He won 10 of his 15 starts, accumulating prize-money of £671,351.

Godolphin, who have won the last three runnings of the King George, will now be represented only by Fantastic Light, on whom John Reid, originally booked to ride Kayf Tara, will replace Richard Hills.

Fantastic Light is quoted at 10-1 in William Hill's revised betting, with Montjeu an ever firmer favourite at 4-7. Reid, though, is unlikely to be bothered if his new mount starts at double-figure odds tomorrow. He has won the King George twice before, on Ile De Bourbon in 1978, and Swain in 1997, and both were relative outsiders, at 12-1 and 16-1 respectively.

The first of those successes was particularly sweet for Reid, who was immediately elevated to the select ranks of the big-race jockeys, a status he has now maintained for 22 years and counting. "It was magnificent, it got me into the big time,'' Reid said yesterday. "Until you've won a big race, you can go on for years and never be in line for the big ones.''

In Montjeu, Fantastic Light faces a formidable rival. "Obviously you've got him in the back of your mind, he'll be the one everyone's keeping an eye on,'' Reid said.

"But you've got to go out there and do the best for the horse you're on, and ride him how he wants to be ridden, and be aware of the opposition afterwards. Montjeu has a great turn of foot, but you can never be frightened of just one.''

On the form of the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June, where he finished three-quarters of a length second to Daliapour, the second-favourite for tomorrow's race, Fantastic Light goes to post with a fair each-way chance. Reid also believes that he should improve on a disappointing fifth in the Eclipse last time out. "I rode him there, it was a slowly run race and I was stuck on the outside, which didn't really suit me,'' the jockey said.

In all, there are eight declared runners in tomorrow's race, although Raypour appears to be a pacemaker for Daliapour. Fruits Of Love, a doubtful runner after knocking himself while swimming on Sunday, will at least now go to post, but Mark Johnston, his trainer, said that he is "still worried'' that his runner will struggle to do himself justice.

"He looks a lot better this morning,'' Johnston said yesterday. "There is still a bit of heat in the leg but the swelling has gone down. But I am still worried and I will be until he passes the winning post, not because he might do himself long-term damage but because I would hate to see him beaten because of such a minor defect.'' Fruits Of Love is a 10-1 chance will William Hill.

* Richard Hughes continued his fine run by riding the first four winners at Bath yesterday at combined odds of 136-1.

* Alex Greaves will face a Jockey Club disciplinary committee hearing next Thursday after testing positive for a banned diuretic. The 32-year-old top female jockey has become the first woman rider to fail a drug test.

* Rails bookmakers are to be allowed to display their prices on boards from 1 January 2001.

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