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ILAYA 22 April 2014 Kapgarde-Tour Magic-Grey Mare. Owner-The Golden Cookoo

One of the most exiting horses in the yard is the seven year old French bred mare Ilaya. Her sire is the top class producer of jump horses, Kapgarde, who was trained by Guillaume Macaire, and only ever raced at Auteuil racecourse. Ilaya's dam is the unraced Tour Magic, but her grandam Tourmaline achieved a racing post rating of 134, while also only ever racing at Auteuil.

Ilaya arrived at the yard in the spring of 2018 having had one previous run when finishing a very respectable second at Pau in a three year old hurdle, at the end of December 2017. She was soon showing above average ability on the Middleham gallops, so hopes were high for her British debut at Sedgefield in November of 2018, where she was sent off at only 8/1,but she threw the race away by racing far too freely, establishing a long lead, but weakening quickly.

Over the course of the next 11 months she would race another six times, and on each occasion she would race far too freely. At Newcastle in December, after many hours of home schooling things finally fell in to place, when under Becky Smith she travelled comfortably within herself, coming home nine lengths clear, off a mark of 102. Her final two runs of the 2019-2020 season showed further progression, again at Newcastle, she came home comfortably off a mark of 113, and back in novice company, under a double penalty at Catterick, she was only short headed by the Tom George trained Zoutoise. The handicapper was suitably impressed raising her to a new high of 125.

Ilaya returned from her summer break at Wetherby in October 2020, and made a satisfactory start to her season by finishing an eight lengths fifth. Her next three runs at Wetherby, and Catterick in November and December were all disappointing, with her failing to get involved, but after an 82 day break she reappeared at Newcastle in March 2021, and finally showed some of her old sparkle, when finishing third, beaten by four and three quarter lengths, in Class 3 company.

Ilaya is now down to a mark of 113, which is 12lb lower than at the start of this season, and she appears to be running back in to form. TO BE CONTINUED.

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