Lot 52 ch c Rip Van Winkle – Bak Da Chief (Chief Bearhart) $110,000 (draft: Leanach Lodge)
This colt is a brother to Te Akau Shark, purchased by David Ellis for $230,000 at the New Zealand Bloodstock 2016 Ready to Run Sale.
Te Akau Shark was unbeaten in two starts before producing an excellent performance in the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) for fourth, a nose away from seizing a Te Akau trifecta in the prestigious race – won by stable-mate Embellish (Savabeel), from subsequent group winner Age of Fire (Fastnet Rock).
“We were impressed with this horse during our farm inspections and there are obvious similarities to the Shark himself, who is an immensely talented galloper,” said David Ellis.
Similar to Te Akau Shark, he appears to have chestnut colouring and markings in keeping with progeny by his dam-sire Chief Bearhart (Chief’s Crown), a Canadian stallion that won 12 of his 26 starts. One of his best racing progeny was 2006 New Zealand Filly of the Year Shikoba, trained at Te Akau by Mark Walker.
“The progeny of Rip Van Winkle keep getting better with age and like his brother we think this horse is an ideal horse to prepare for the 2000 Guineas and races over more distance,” Ellis said.
“He’s a particularly nice type of horse. His dam, Bak da Chief, was a Waikato Cup (Gr. 2, 2400m) winner and he is excellent buying at the price.”