Just over twenty years after galloping into immortality, Kahyasi was last week put down for humane reasons at Haras de Bonneval, the stud of his owner/breeder the Aga Khan, where he had spent the latter years of his stud career, having initially taken up duties at Ballymany Stud in Ireland in 1989, writes John Berry.
The best horse sired by easy 1978 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner Ile De Bourbon, Kahyasi retained his unbeaten record until the autumn of his three-year-old career, having won a maiden at Newmarket on his only start at two and then kicked off his three-year-old campaign with four straight successes, in a conditions race at Sandown, the Lingfield Derby Trial, the Derby (in which he beat Glacial Storm and Doyoun by one and a half lengths and the same) and the Irish Derby (in which he beat Insan by a short-head). Kahyasi's time for the Derby (2:33.84) was the fastest since Mahmoud's hand-timed record, set in 1936, of 2:33.8 - and he ran it in the same green and chocolate hoops which Mahmoud had borne, this set being the present Aga's second colours and Kahyasi being the owner's second string (behind 2,000 Guineas winner Doyoun) - but he probably wasn't one of the most talented Derby winners: his time owed a lot to the firm ground, and his record to his courage and Luca Cumani's skillful placing. By winning a Classic at Epsom, he followed in the footsteps of his fifth dam Masaka, victrix of the 1948 Oaks.
It is not only as a Derby winner that Kahyasi's name will live forever, because he has left a lasting legacy at stud. He is the sire of two truly great horses (both bred, like the majority of his best stock, by the Aga Khan): the great broodmare Hasili, and Karasi, placed in four Group One flat races before going over the jumps and winning the Nakayama Grand Jump thrice. His other sons and daughters to win big races include Enzeli (Ascot Gold Cup), Zainta (Prix de Diane), Vereva (Prix de Diane), Khalkevi (Grand Prix de Paris) and Choc Ice (E. P. Taylor Stakes); while, in addition to Hasili's children Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Cacique, Heat Haze, Dansili and Champs Elysee, other good horses produced by Kahyasi mares include current star filly Zarkava, as well as Helene Mascot (HK Derby), Shamdala (Gran Premio di Milano) and Linngari (Premio Vittorio di Capua).