Trainer Aidan O’Brien is aiming Dick Whittington (2c Rip Van Winkle-Sahara Sky, by Danehill) at G1 company after the colt brought another G3 success for first-season sire Rip Van Winkle on Saturday evening.
The Rip colt took the G3 Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh in taking style and O’Brien is planning to return to the Co Kildare course next month for the G1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.
“I’m delighted. He‘s a fast horse and five or six furlongs looks his trip. I think it would be tight to get a mile with him. The Phoenix Stakes looks the race for him,” O’Brien told irishracing.com.
The trainer’s son Joseph was in the saddle and added: “He didn’t stay seven furlongs in Ascot the last day. He has loads of pace – (he wants) six furlongs on fast ground, even five furlongs. He is a horse that could progress and jumped and travelled well. He’s by Rip Van Winkle who is an exciting stallion. He’s done that nicely and stuck his head out all the way to the line.”
Dick Whittington was Rip Van Winkle’s second Group winner, following G3 Grangecon Stud Stakes heroine I Am Beautiful (2f Rip Van Winkle-Monevassia, by Mr Prospector), and the stallion had another impressive scorer on Saturday.
That was Arethusa (2f Rip Van Winkle-Acquifer, by Oasis Dream), who stormed away with a 17-runner Newmarket maiden for trainer Ed Dunlop. The filly, bred by Highbury Stud and John Troy, looked to have a big future after seeing off some well-regarded opponents.