Multiple Group 1 star Rip Van Winkle (by Galileo) has had an eye-catching year and the Coolmore Stud stallion's career tally of stakes winners is now in double figures. The juvenile Group 1 scorer Dick Whittington, now aged four and reviewed here after his Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes victory earlier in the year, heads his roll of honour and the colt represents his first crop.
Capella, Magic Dancer, and First Impressions are New Zealand-bred pattern winners, the latter a 12-furlong Group 3 scorer in Australia, while the dual Group 2-placed two-year-old Arcada, talented sprinter The Happy Prince, and popular pattern-placed stakes-winning filly Creggs Pipes have done well for him in Ireland in 2016. That latter pair also come from his first crop.
The Happy Prince has been very busy and was running for the 14th time this season when unplaced in the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home of Champions Concorde Stakes over a few yards short of seven and a half furlongs at Tipperary today, eased down when his chance was gone. For the Andy Slattery-trained Creggs Pipes, who finished fifth, that race was her ninth run of the season. The wide-margin winner was the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Jet Setting.
Fifth of 22 in a seven-furlong Curragh maiden on his only start at two, The Happy Prince was an odds-on winner over six and a half furlongs at Limerick on his three-year-old debut. He added a six-furlong premier handicap at Naas and picked up a trio of blacktype placings, rising to a mark of 108, but had a disappointing start to his latest campaign.
He did not make the frame until his ninth start of the year, but after that second place finish to Moviesta in a six-furlong Dundalk handicap, he chased home Spirit Quartz in a listed contest over five at Tipperary, beat In Salutem by one and three-quarter lengths in a conditions race over six at Naas, and then came within a short-head of beating Breton Rock in the Group 2 Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes over seven furlongs at Doncaster.
That performance saw his rating jump to a career-best of 112, he followed it with a three-quarter-length defeat of Flight Risk in the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes on heavy ground at the Curragh seven days ago.
The Happy Prince was bred by Floors Farming, he made £90,000 in Doncaster as a yearling, he is trained by Aidan O'Brien, and he is the first foal out of Maid To Dream (by Oasis Dream), who was placed over seven furlongs at Lingfield (turf) and Wolverhampton (all-weather) from four starts at three.
She has twice changed hands at Tattersalls since then, making 80,000gns each time, she had a Nathaniel (by Galileo) filly in 2015 and first-crop daughter of ace miler Toronado (by High Chaparral) in March.
Eight of her siblings have won at least once, including her speedy stakes-placed full-brother Run For The Hills and middle-distance stakes-placed half-sister Maid To Perfection (by Sadler's Wells), and both that filly and two of their siblings have produced stakes winners at stud.
Maid To Treasure (by Rainbow Quest) was only placed a few times but is the dam of the Listed Esher Stakes winner and Group 2 Lonsdale Cup third King Of Wands (by Galileo), one-time scorer Green Tambourine (by Green Desert) is the dam of Californian listed scorer Maid For Music (by Dubai Destination), and Maid To Perfection is responsible for Caucus and Queen Of Pentacles.
The former, a son of Cape Cross (by Green Desert), is a triple stakes winner over two miles in England and chased home Estimate in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Ascot. Queen Of Pentacles (by Selkirk) ran six times, all but one of those over 10 furlongs, she won a listed contest at Doncaster on her final start, and her three-year-old, Queen Of The Stars (by Sea The Stars), won a Pontefract maiden by seven lengths over that trip two weeks ago.
The grandam of The Happy Prince is Maid For The Hills (by Indian Ridge), who won a six-furlong listed contest at Newmarket as a two-year-old, the third dam, Stinging Nettle (by Sharpen Up), was a six-furlong listed scorer at Ascot on her only start at two, and those who descend from the latter include a string of stakes and pattern winners over a wide variety of distances.
The Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes winner and Group 1 Nassau Stakes runner-up Lady In Waiting (by Kylian) is among them, as are the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes scorer Stroll (by Pulpit), the Group 3 Prix de Lutece winner Savannah Bay (by In The Wings), Group 2-winning miler Lovelace (by Royal Applause), and the Group 1-placed pattern-winning South African sprinters Welwitschia (by Oasis Dream) and Headstrong (by Pivotal).
The Happy Prince is a capable performer without being good enough to trouble the best, he is entered in Friday's Group 2 Dubai 100 Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket, and regardless of whether or not he makes that journey, there should be more good prizes to be earned with him.