Rip Van Winkle had another smart first-crop juvenile winner on Saturday when the Marco Botti-trained Yeenaan (2c Rip Van Winkle-Japan, by Key Royal) captured a competitive Newbury maiden.
Sporting the silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, the Rip colt stepped up on a promising debut to comfortably shake off 13 rivals under Daniel Muscutt. A division of what is always a good seven-furlong maiden was won last year by subsequent G1 St Leger and G1 Racing Post Trophy hero Kingston Hill (3c Mastercraftsman-Audacieuse, by Rainbow Quest).
“When he ran at Newcastle he was as green as grass and needed the experience,” Botti told PA Sport. “Daniel said he didn’t mind the ground, which augurs well for him having another run on grass before the end of the season.
“At the moment we will stick to seven furlongs, but I think he’ll get further and be a very nice prospect next year.”
Yeenaan, who was bred like last weekend’s G1 Irish Champion Stakes hero The Grey Gatsby (3c Mastercraftsman-Marie Vison, by Entrepreneur) by Malcolm Parrish, was bought for 90,000 euros as a two-year-old at Arqana by Jamie Lloyd.