Spring classic targets are now the focus for a highly regarded trio of impressive 3YO winners by champion racehorse Rip Van Winkle (Galileo).
Yesterday’s record-breaking win over 1300m by Capella at Taupo followed an equally daunting performance by fellow 3YO filly Let Her Rip over 1200m at Te Rapa last Friday.
Today at Tauherenikau they were joined in their classic aspirations by 3YO colt The Wolf, who proved too strong for his opposition in the 3YO event over 1400m.
The explosive finishing speed of both Capella and Let Her Rip in their races has not gone unnoticed with both fillies now featuring at the forefront of betting for the Gr.1 NZ 1000 Guineas at Riccarton next month.
Trained by Danica Guy, Capella has made a big impression on all her connections including champion rider Opie Bosson.
“She’s got a lot of class. Once she balances up and accelerates, she’s got huge strides and such a turn of foot,” said Bosson.
Let Her Rip is similarly admired by her trainer by Shaune Ritchie who has always harboured high hopes for the daughter of Rip Van Winkle.
“Let Her Rip is an exciting filly and we’re on track towards the 1000 Guineas,” Ritchie said. “She’ll have one more run over Labour weekend and then we’ll head south.”
The Riccarton Carnival is also under consideration for The Wolf who may contend the Gr.1 NZ 2000 Guineas, while his connections acknowledge the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie forms part of their longer range planning.
A multiple Gr.1-winning miler at three, Rip Van Winkle trained on to win the highly rated Gr.1 York International Stakes over 2100m as a 4YO.
The second highest rated son of superlative sire Galileo (Sadler’s Wells), Rip Van Winkle comes from the family of Windsor Park Stud’s eight-times Champion Sire Volksraad (Green Desert).