First Southern Hemisphere SW for Rip Van Winkle

A talented son of champion sire Galileo, former champion miler Rip Van Winkle  was represented by his first Australasian stakes-winner when Magic Dancer (2f Rip Van Winkle x Dazzling Belle, by Desert Sun) took out the Group III Phoenix Park 2YO Classic at Pukekura in New Zealand on Saturday.

Rip Van Winkle was a hit in the Northern Hemisphere last year with his son Dick Whittington successful in the Group I Curragh Phoenix Stakes and his daughter I Am Beautiful the winner of the Group III Grangecon Stud Stakes, so there is considerable expectation for his Southern Hemisphere progeny.

Magic Dancer was his first winner in Australasia when she won on debut back in October and has now delivered his first stakes success.

The Phoenix Park Classic wasn’t originally on her program, but a lack of early entries resulted in trainers Graeme and Debbie Rogerson electing to send the filly south with stablemate Halleloojah.

“She was a late nomination when there only half a dozen in there,” co-trainer Debbie Rogerson said.

“I had a look at the form and decided to have a go – she worked super during the week and I was quite confident.”

Magic Dancer raced close to the pace set up by her stablemate Halleloojah, but unlike her travelling partner, she accelerated on the turn and won the 1200 metre contest easing down by two and three quarter lengths.

Magic Dancer was partnered by Darryl Bradley who said he had few worries during the race.

“She relaxed in second beautifully. I had to do a bit of work before the corner when another one came around, but she kicked on very well in the straight,” he said.

Magic Dancer was a $90,000 NZB Select Sale purchase from the Monovale Farm draft and is a half-sister to Group I placed Manten and stakes-placed Perkins being the sixth winner from stakes-winning Desert Sun mare Dazzling Belle.

Magic Dancer is the third stakes-winner worldwide for Rip Van Winkle, who is a regular shuttler to Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand.

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