Article by NZ Racing Desk
Pencarrow Stud’s decision to bring a broodmare out of retirement has been spectacularly rewarded by the dual black-type winner Sleeping Beauty.
The Rip Van Winkle six-year-old mastered the gruelling conditions for a dominant victory in Saturday’s Listed Ultimate Ford and Mazda Tauranga Classic (1400m), having also taken out the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) at her previous start.
Sleeping Beauty is the tenth and final foal out of the Danehill mare Kailey Princess.
“She was quite an old mare and we’d actually retired her from breeding at the time,” Pencarrow’s studmaster Leon Casey said.
“But then her first foal was the dam of Herculian Prince, who Gai Waterhouse trained to win the Gr.1 Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney. We decided to unretire Kailey Princess to see if we could get one more foal out of her, and that foal was Sleeping Beauty.”
Trained by Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott and carrying Sir Peter Vela’s distinctive blue and white hoops, Sleeping Beauty has now won 10 of her 23 starts. She has also placed in the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) and Westbury Classic (1400m), and she was a commendable sixth in the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m).
“It was a big thrill to see her win the way she did on Saturday,” Casey said. “She’s just such a consistent horse and tries so hard every time – she’s the sort of horse you love to have in your stable.
“She’s gone to new heights in this preparation with her black-type wins, but it has to be said that her record has been extremely good all the way through. Her early form was on wet ground and she might have been written off as a wet-tracker, but she’s shown now that she’s effective on top of the ground too. She’s hardly ever been out of the placings in her career.”
Sleeping Beauty is one of eight winners for Kailey Princess, with half-siblings Prosperous Bid and Canny Princess both placing at stakes level in Australia.
A half-sister to Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) placegetter Sir Midas and from the family of Group One winner Racing to Win and exciting Australian sprinter Classique Legend, Kailey Princess was bred by Arrowfield and won three races in Melbourne.
“We bought her out of training,” Casey said. “We got her as both a breeding and racing proposition, but she had a bit of wear and tear by that stage and never raced in our colours. We started breeding from her straight away, and she performed really well for us.”
Pencarrow sold four Kailey Princess yearlings at Karaka, each of them fetching between $150,000 and $210,000.
Sleeping Beauty is set to carry on the family line in Pencarrow’s broodmare band, although major spring racing targets are likely to be a more immediate target.
“We’ll probably look at the Foxbridge Plate (Gr.2, 1200m) and some of the big sprint races in the spring,” Casey said. “We might breed her in the spring and then just give her a few more starts in that preparation before retiring her to stud.
“We’ve had a look at some mating options for her but haven’t made any decisions yet. She’s a lovely type of mare with natural speed, so she’s going to have plenty of options.”
Sleeping Beauty’s stakes double has continued an outstanding season for her sire, Windsor Park Stud’s Rip Van Winkle. He has sired 38 winners in New Zealand in 2018-19 including four at stakes level, earning $1.3 million for a career-best position of sixth on the sires’ premiership.
His other stakes successes this season have come from boom galloper Te Akau Shark in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) and Gr.3 Spring Sprint (1400m), Bizzwinkle in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) and Lil Miss Swiss in the Listed Riverton Cup (2147m).
Rip Van Winkle’s overall tally stands at 28 stakes winners worldwide, 14 of them in Australia and New Zealand.