Dick Whittington (2c Rip Van Winkle-Sahara Sky, by Danehill) brought a first-crop G1 victory for Rip Van Winkle at the Curragh on Sunday when showing great tenacity to land the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.
The gutsy colt fought off Kool Kompany to score by half a length, to the delight of trainer Aidan O’Brien.
“He’s a tough, hardy horse. We weren’t sure before today if he would get a mile or not but after that you would think he will,” O’Brien told irishracing.com. “He won very well on fast ground at Navan, and I’d say the ground doesn’t seem to bother him.
“He’s had a busy enough time for a young horse so we won’t be in any panic with him now. He’s had a tough race there and we’ll give him a little break. The dad (Rip Van Winkle) was very genuine, and it’s good to see he’s passed that on.”
Dick Whittington, who was bred by Swordlestown Stud, was enjoying his second Group success, having won the G3 Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh on his previous start.