Friday 7 March 2008
The versatility of the Aga Khan’s breeding operation is illustrated by a strong Cheltenham Festival team of former carriers of the famous green and red silks.
Afsoun goes into the Festival in good form, having picked up the Gr 2 Contenders Hurdle at Sandown on his last outing. The son of Kahyasi is being aimed at the Champion Hurdle, in which he finished third last year. Since being bought privately from the AK Studs, Afsoun, a dual winner on the flat, has won five races over timber. In the Champion Hurdle Afsoun could meet EBAZIYAN, who is no stranger to Cheltenham success as he lifted the 2007 Gr 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. EBAZIYAN has won a total of three hurdle events since being purchased for 150,000 Euros at Goffs Ireland in 2005 after two wins on the flat. The son of Irish Oaks and Prix Royal-Oak heroine Ebadiyla also holds an entry in the World Hurdle.
ASHKAZAR and SERABAD are two highly-promising four-year-olds who both won on the flat before making a perfect transition to hurdling. ASHKAZAR’s Cheltenham target is not yet certain and he is the current favourite for the Listed Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle against his elders at Sandown on Saturday 8th March. However he could also participate at the Cheltenham Festival where he is among the leading fancies of the Listed Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle and Gr 1 Triumph Hurdle. SERABAD has won two races since arriving in Great Britain and been placed second and third at Gr 1 and Gr 2 level. The son of a half-sister to Sendawar, SERABAD will contest the Triumph Hurdle on 14th March.
In addition to his son Afsoun, Kahyasi will be strongly represented as the sire of Kalahari King, a Listed winner on the flat, multiple Graded scorer Kasbah Bliss, Gr 2 winners Mahogany Blaze and Verasi, and recent Gr 2 2nd Ring the Boss.
Updated on 07/03/2008