2009 Sussex Stakes
RIP VAN WINKLE
SUSSEX STAKES, GLORIOUS GOODWOOD
Why there is still debate around Sadler’s Wells’ status as a sire of sires, has us flummoxed us. Long ago, Fort Wood established himself as one of the best stallions of all time in South Africa, and while the rest of the world might’ve been waiting for confirmation from the countries to the north of us, it wasn’t long before El Prado stepped up to become Champion Sire of North America, while In The Wings was doing a grand job in Europe. Solid enough stuff, but still not convincing enough for his detractors. That issue must surely have been put to bed with the emergence of the world class stallions, Montjeu and Galileo, the latter of whom is the reigning champion in Europe, and is many people’s idea of the best stallion in the world today.
Galileo has already proven his versatility with two consecutive juvenile champions in Europe in Teofilo and New Approach, and he’s had world-class performers at his own pet distance, a mile and a half. His star performer in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood yesterday was Rip Van Winkle, who stormed home to beat the horse that had landed the spoils in what many fans might previously have held as the best mile performance thus far this season.
Since Rip Van Winkle’s 2,5 length victim in yesterday’s score was Paco Boy himself (with the course record-breaking heroine of the Coronation Stakes, Ghanaati another four lengths back in third,) you’d have to believe this was not only the marker that all milers will have to aspire to this season, but the next horse to beat Rip Van Winkle (if it happens) could legitimately put his hand up for the title of the best miler in the world.
The last time Ireland’s Coolmore Stud risked Galileo for shuttle duties in Australia was the 2006 breeding season, and he’s now become too precious a commodity to travel. The result is, after this year’s sales season, there simply won’t be another southern hemisphere-bred Galileo available. That’s it, we’re afraid, but for those of you who have any aspirations of getting your fingers into the pie before year end, there’s no need to despair. The Summerhill draft at the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run sale on the 8th November features two outstandingly bred daughters of this great stallion, the one from a family of the best filly in the world last year, Zarkava, and the other out of a Danehill sister to two Group One winners. We already know what the Danehill cross has achieved with Sadler’s Wells, and this could be another explosion waiting to happen.