Group 1-producing sire Rip Van Winkle (Galileo) has died after a short illness Windsor Park confirmed on Sunday morning.
The death of the son of Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) will come as a bitter blow to all at Windsor Park, with the stallion having enjoyed his best season on the track, headlined by Group 1-winning pair Te Akau Shark and Jennifer Eccles.
The Jamie Richards-trained Te Akau Shark landed consecutive Group 1s in the Waikato Sprint (Gr 1, 1400m), before following up that win in the Chipping Norton Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m), while Jennifer Eccles took out the New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m).
“It’s a devastating blow for us and the industry losing a successful sire, especially one who has just enjoyed a great season on the racetrack,” Windsor Park Stud’s Rodney Schick said.
“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.”
Overall Rip Van Winkle sired 31 stakes winners and along with Te Akau Shark and Jennifer Eccles, he also counted Phoenix Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) winner Dick Whittington among three top-flight scorers.
Formerly trained by Aidan O'Brien, Rip Van Winkle enjoyed a sensational career before joining the stallion ranks, winning three Group 1s. He achieved an elite Timeform rating of 134 at the end of his three-year-old campaign in 2009, making him the second highest-rated progeny of Galileo and beaten only by unbeaten champion Frankel.