Saturday 26 May 2018

Rhododendron blooms for O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien's Rhododendron. Photo: Getty Images
Aidan O'Brien's Rhododendron. Photo: Getty Images

Rhododendron became the latest member of Aidan O'Brien's team to earn an opening quote for next year's Qipco 1000 Guineas after taking the Dove 100 Colours EBF British Stallion Studs Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Goodwood.

After making a satisfactory start when second at the Curragh last month, the smartly-bred two-year-old went about her business in the fashion of an above-average sort in the seven-furlong event.

The Ryan Moore-ridden 10-11 winner wore down Amabilis late on before drawing away for a length and three-quarters success and was installed at 20-1 for the fillies' Classic with Paddy Power.

MV Magnier, son of co-owner John Magnier, said: "Ryan felt like she hadn't had much of a race.

"There's plenty of improvement in her by the looks of it. It's amazing what Galileo has been doing over the past few weeks.

"I didn't see her goose stepping around the paddock but they tell me it's a sign of well-being when they do that. Zenyatta used to do it so hopefully it's a good omen.

"We will look at races like the Debutante, Moyglare and Marcel Boussac for her."

The passport of Big Orange looks set to be given another outing after he demonstrated the best of his battling qualities to record back-to-back victories in the Qatar Goodwood Cup.

After collecting a second successive win in the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month, the big-hearted five-year-old mirrored his victory in the Group Two prize of 12 months ago to become the first horse since Double Trigger in 1997 and 1998 to win the race in consecutive seasons.

Big Orange was cut to 16-1 by Ladbrokes for the Melbourne Cup, in which he was fifth last year. Bell said: "He is a very brave horse, that gives his all. He has got a very good mind and engine and good limbs."

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