Former world champion miler Rip Van Winkle dies aged 14 at stud in New Zealand

Horse Racing Rip Van Winkle
Rip Van Winkle at stud in New Zealand. Photo: Windsor Park Stud

By NZ Racing Desk

New Zealand: Former world champion miler Rip Van Winkle, a triple G1 winner for Aidan O’Brien before his stallion career, has died aged 14 at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand following a short illness.

A son of Galileo, Rip Van Winkle had just completed his most successful season at stud with a stellar year on the racetrack that included G1-winning stars Te Akau Shark and NZ Oaks winner Jennifer Eccles, the NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year.

In Europe, he was better known for his exploits on the track for Ballydoyle, for whom he won the Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes as a three-year-old in 2009 and then the Juddmonte International in 2010, all of them with Johnny Murtagh in the saddle.

Rip Van Winkle also finished fourth to Sea The Stars in both the 2,000 Guineas and Derby as a three-year-old before being beaten a length by the same horse in the Coral-Eclipse.

He was retired after finishing a nose second to Poet’s Voice in the 2010 QEII.

Rip Van Winkle was twice named world champion miler with a Timeform rating of 134, the same figure earned by his legendary sire.

“It’s a devastating blow for us and the industry losing a successful sire,” Windsor Park’s Rodney Schick said. “Especially one who has just enjoyed a great season on the racetrack.”

“We can only look forward to the remaining crops he has to come and to the impact his daughters are sure to make at stud.”

At stud for Coolmore, Rip Van Winkle had success with the likes of Dick Whittington, who won the G1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in 2014, and G3 winner I Am Beautiful.

As his status in Europe waned, he began a resurgence after moving to Windsor Park in 2017.

An international sire of 31 individual stakes winners, Rip Van Winkle had sired G1 winners over 1,200m, 1,400m, 1,600m and 2,400m and confirmed his versatility by siring G1 winners in all age categories.

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