Curragh: Rhododendron blossoms for O’Brien
Rhododendron was trimmed for the 1,000 Guineas after Debutante win
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Rhododendron blossoms with Debutante victory By David Dew 4:20PM 21 AUG 2016
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Report: Curragh, Sunday
Breast Cancer Research Debutante Stakes (Group 2), 7f 2yo fillies
THERE might have been disappointment for Aidan O'Brien with US Army Ranger half an hour earlier, but there was compensation when the well-backed Rhododendron led home stablemate Hydrangea for a smart victory.
Sent off the 11-8 favourite, Rhododendron was taking a substantial step up in class after winning a maiden at Goodwood and scored by a head after keeping on well.
Seamie Heffernan, who earlier struck on Churchill and was making it a Group 2 double on the day, said: "She learned a bit at Goodwood and Ryan [Moore] told me to get there late on her. He said she was the best of Aidan's three runners in the race."
The rider picked up a one-day ban for using his whip with excessive force on Rhododendron and not giving his mount time to respond.
O'Brien, who was winning the Debutante for the 11th time and for the third time in the last four years, was pleased with the performances of the winner and runner-up and said: "They ran very well and both gave the impression they'll stay further.
"We thought Rhododendron had come forward from her Goodwood maiden win while Hydrangea, too, is progressive and she rallied well when the other filly headed her.
"They'll probably both come back her for the Moyglare Stud Stakes next month."
Rhododendron was trimmed with most bookmakers for next year's 1,000 Guineas and is now available between 10-1 and 16-1.
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