Bookmakers have priced up the market for leading British and Irish first-season sire for 2014 and it is the brilliant Rip Van Winkle who heads the betting.
RaceBets make the Rip 2/1 favourite to take the title following the outstanding sales of his first-crop yearlings last autumn. The young Rips have found their way into many of the top European stables this year.
“Rip Van Winkle is by a successful sire of sires in Galileo and he is 2/1 favourite to top the first-season sire prize money list with RaceBets,” said the company’s spokesman Joseph Burke.
“He had some particularly attractive yearlings that came to the market last year and his former trainer Aidan O’Brien has four of his juveniles in his care this season. Rip Van Winkle’s progeny are also with the likes of Richard Hannon, Richard Fahey, Sir Michael Stoute, John Gosden and John Oxx so it can be expected he will get a good mixture of winners as well as some above average types.”
Rip Van Winkle was a high-class two-year-old himself, winning the G3 Tyros Stakes, before going on to be champion European miler as a three-year-old. The three-time G1 winner is standing for €20,000 in 2014.