By Martin Stevens
The Return of Mares, published by Weatherbys in October each year, is required reading for bloodstock industry professionals and pedigree enthusiasts alike, recording as it does the identity of every foal born and mare covered in Britain and Ireland in the previous breeding season.
Jet Away soaring in the popularity stakes
Maxios was not the only jumps sire to be rewarded for making a breakthrough on the track with a bumper-sized book of mares this year.
Jet Away’s covering numbers at Arctic Tack Stud rose from 143 in 2019 to 288 in 2020, putting the 13-year-old son of Cape Cross second only to Maxios in terms of popularity.
Jet Away was bred by Juddmonte and was originally raced by Khalid Abdullah’s operation. A contemporary of Frankel under the tutelage of Sir Henry Cecil at Warren Place, his finest hour carrying the iconic green, white and pink colours came with a comprehensive defeat of future Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente in the Listed Festival Stakes.
The close relation to Juddmonte blue hen Hasili was later sold to Douglas Taylor, the breeder of Samcro, and was sent to Australia for his own Cup campaign. He distinguished himself down under by taking the Group 3 Easter Cup and running a close fourth in the Caulfield Cup, and he might have made his mark in the Melbourne Cup but for having to miss the famous race due to an injury.
Jet Away entered Arctic Tack Stud in 2015 and has always been popular, covering three-figure books ever year apart from in his third season when he dipped just below at 98.
His numbers surged this year on the back of the bright start made by his first four-year-old runners in the point-to-point field. They included Brandy Love, who scored by eight lengths for Colin Bowe at Cragmore and subsequently sold to Willie Mullins for £200,000 at a Tattersalls Cheltenham Sale; Bring The Action, who trotted up in a Tinahely maiden for Denis Murphy; and Supreme Jet, a decisive winner of an Oldtown maiden on debut for Patrick O’Farrell.
Fittingly, it was Douglas Taylor who owned the first Jet Away jumps winner under rules, with the Gordon Elliott-trained Gordon’s Jet taking a Punchestown bumper by five lengths in September.