Rip Van Winkle
covered 150 mares in his first season last year, 48 of whom were black-type performers.
TOUGHT TEST Rip Van Winkle
will need to be at his best to see off Makfi at Ascot today HARD TO BEAT Aidan O'Brien's Wild Wind
Rip Van Winkle
(left) gets the better of Byword and Twice Over at York yesterday
WE'RE very happy with Rip Van Winkle
- I think he has improved since last year and I think he's going to improve with every run - but it's a big worry that he hasn't had a run.
But fillies and mares have a poor record in the Queen Anne, while Paco Boy is held by Rip Van Winkle
on last year's Goodwood form.
O'Brien is confident Rip Van Winkle
will handle the Pro-Ride surface, which certainly proved a hit with Europe's finest last year, and this smart three-year-old can see off America's unbeaten filly Zenyatta, who will be taking on colts for the first time.
Murtagh sent Rip Van Winkle
on his way turning for home at halfway in mile showpiece, and the market leader bounded clear to get off the mark for 2009 by two and a half lengths.
His rating of 130 ranks him in close proximity to the other leading milers this century, up there with Goldikova, Rip Van Winkle
, George Washington and Rock Of Gibraltar, who all returned RPRs of 131 at their peak.
Although he was defeated by Rip Van Winkle
at York, Leopardstown might suit him more having performed well recently on similar tracks.
INTO A STRIDE Rip Van Winkle
wins the Juddmonte International Stakes at York yesterday after a perfectly-timed challenge
Hannon ruled out going beyond a mile with Canford Cliffs, something which O'Brien is keen to try again with runner-up Rip Van Winkle
AIDAN O'BRIEN'S crack miler Rip Van Winkle
is set to square up to the unbeaten Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic in Santa Anita on Saturday week.