Jeremy's only two jumps crops suggest he's a serious loss to the industry
Martin Stevens looks at a hot spell for the late Garryrichard Stud resident
It is a truth universally acknowledged in the bloodstock industry that if a stallion dies young then sod's law will prevail and he will turn out to be a rich source of winners.
In jumps breeding in recent years that wry twist of fate has befallen the likes of Fame And Glory, Gold Well, Nickname, Vision D'Etat and Voix Du Nord. We might now add Jeremy to that list of sires earning posthumous recognition after a premature death.
Jeremy, a son of Danehill Dancer out of an Arazi half-sister to Japanese champion racehorse and sire Deep Impact, no less, was bred by Brookdale Farm in Kentucky and sold to Betty Moran's Brushwood Stable for $375,000 as a foal at Keeneland.
He was sent by Moran, best known on this side of the Atlantic as the owner of millennium Grand National hero Papillon, to Newmarket to be trained by Sir Michael Stoute and won four races including the Group 2 Betfred Mile at Sandown. His best efforts, though, came in defeat when placed behind Ramonti in the Queen Anne Stakes and Sussex Stakes.
There was reportedly strong competition at home and from abroad to stand Jeremy when his racing career drew to a close in 2007, what with Danehill Dancer having ascended to a fee of €115,000 at Coolmore earlier that year and Deep Impact's outstanding racecourse exploits still fresh in the memory. But, in what must have been one of the last roars of the Celtic Tiger, it was the Irish National Stud that purchased and subsequently syndicated the horse.
JEREMY: THE FACTS AND FIGURES
Pedigree 2003-14 b h Danehill Dancer-Glint In Her Eye (Arazi)
Stood Irish National Stud 2008-12; Garryrichard Stud 2013-14
Lifetime jumps runners 433*
Lifetime jumps winners 116 (27%)*
Jumps Grade 1 winners sired Jer's Girl, Our Conor, Whiskey Sour
*Source: Weatherbys, up to Friday
Jeremy experienced moderate success in the Flat sphere. With his final crop conceived at the Irish National now aged six, his lifetime stats stand at 99 winners from 212 runners at a decent clip of 47 per cent. There have been no offspring to have struck at the highest level, but Baino Hope, Kool Kompany and Success Days are all Group 2 winners.
Breeders' enthusiasm for Jeremy had started to wane by his fifth season at the Irish National in 2012. A book of 84 mares was respectable, especially considering the Celtic Tiger had been tamed by the credit crunch by then, but they were covered at a fee of €6,000 – less than half his opening mark of €12,500.
However, the stallion's profile was transformed later that year when his first-crop sons Our Conor and Stocktons Wing – both, sadly, also doomed to die young – finished first and second in a Grade 3 juvenile hurdle at Fairyhouse despite being bred to excel on the Flat.
Not long afterwards, it was announced that Jeremy would relocate from Tully to stand in a jumps capacity at Garryrichard Stud in County Wexford. That farm's owner Denis Hickey applauds former Irish National Stud chief executive John Osborne for acting quickly rather than letting the stallion languish in his Flat role and lose appeal to breeders for both codes and thus his optimum earning potential.
Our Conor gilded the business decision by taking the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown and Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in little more than a canter, to be heralded as the second coming. Stocktons Wing, in turn, took the Grade 2 Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle in that spring of 2013.
Reputation revitalised, Jeremy covered 246 mares in his first season at Garryrichard and 221 in 2014 before disaster struck when he sustained an injury during exercise. He broke bones in his carpal joint while recovering from anaesthetic following surgery, leading to him needing to be put down on humane grounds.
In the intervening years between his death and the emergence of his first jumps-bred runners there were more who had been produced for the Flat but shone over hurdles, most notably Grade 1 winners Jer's Girl and Whiskey Sour, to suggest those National Hunt breeders who had contributed to those books of 200-plus mares were justified in their faith in the horse.
Those two Garryrichard Stud crops, now aged five and four, are ensuring that while the stallion is gone, he will not be forgotten any time soon. His runners have been in especially good form this year.
The older cohort already includes five black-type winners over jumps.
They are Birchdale, unbeaten over hurdles for Nicky Henderson and successful in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last month; stablemate Mister Fisher, who took the Grade 2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial at Haydock also last month; Santa Rossa, who scored in the Grade 2 mares' bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival for Dermot McLoughlin this month; The Glancing Queen, a Listed bumper scorer for Alan King in November; and Cote De Grace, a Listed-winning chaser at Pau last year.
Jeremy's five-year-olds also include four black type-placed performers, among them Black Tears, an easy Fairyhouse maiden hurdle winner for Gordon Elliott on Wednesday, and the Gavin Cromwell-trained Jeremys Flame, third when Santa Rossa won her Grade 2 bumper.
Others by the sire of that age to look out for are Polished Steel, a six-length maiden hurdle winner at Thurles this month, Reserve Tank, a convincing winner of a novice hurdle at Sandown for Colin Tizzard on Friday, and the impressive bumper victors Arion Sky, Scarlet And Dove and The Very Man.
There is also Silver Forever, who added to Paul Nicholls' super Saturday at Ascot by landing the concluding mares bumper in determined fashion to notch her second success in that sphere.
Naturally, there has been far less action from Jeremy's four-year-olds, but there is already a Listed hurdle winner in Enjoy It, who scored for Guillaume Macaire at Auteuil last year, and a promising bumper victor for Nigel Twiston-Davies in Rootless Tree.
Jeremy's tally of four black-type winners in Britain and Ireland in the 2018-19 season – all five-year-olds – is beaten only by the blue-chip names Flemensfirth (with ten), King's Theatre (eight), Oscar (seven), Presenting (six), and Kayf Tara and Voix Du Nord (five each).
Those other horses have more crops bred specifically for jumping, don't forget. Equally, though, Jeremy will have to prove his progeny have durability and a proclivity for leaping over larger obstacles in time.
Food for thought alongside those statistics is the fact that Jeremy would likely have been passed over by jumps stud owners coming straight off the track, as he was not overly big at a shade over 16 hands and had a bold white face and three long white socks.
Nevertheless, having taken the route he did, proving himself with his Flat-bred and then young jumps-bred progeny, he would no doubt be covering another huge book of mares if he were alive today.
Despite being dealt such bad luck, Hickey is philosophical, saying merely “it was a privilege to have stood a stallion of his calibre”.
What has eased the pain of the loss of Jeremy is the arrival of a replacement who, on paper at least, looks capable of filling his predecessor's shoes.
Hillstar, another son of Danehill Dancer whose racing career was overseen by Stoute, won four races including the Grade 1 Canadian International and took third behind Novellist in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The nine-year-old has an ironclad pedigree, as a half-brother to the high-class trio Crystal Ocean, Crystal Capella and Crystal Zvezda out of the Listed-winning Mark Of Esteem mare Crystal Star, and has his first two-year-olds on the ground.
Garryrichard has another exciting young stallion on its books in Sageburg, whose French-bred crops have yielded Group 2 winners Peace Burg, Si Sage and Spain Burg and the smart hurdlers Ch'tibello and Fou Et Sage.
The son of Johannesburg's debut Irish crop are three-year-olds, but keeping his name in lights are Rouge Vif and Skandiburg, young hurdlers with significant potential in the care of Harry Whittington and Olly Murphy respectively.
After losing a progenitor of Jeremy's ability, surely no one would begrudge Hickey gaining compensation with a bold showing by either one or both of the stud's latest recruits.
If you enjoyed reading this, you might also like...