Rhododendron slams Fillies’ Mile foes

Rhododendron gave Aidan O'Brien a fifth victory in the Group One Fillies' Mile with an authoritative display at Newmarket.

Rhododendron leads home stablemate Hydrangea

Ryan Moore was sat motionless aboard the 5/2 joint-favourite for much of the contest and brought his partner to lead approaching the final furlong.

Only stablemate Hydrangea (4/1) could offer even the hint of a threat from that point and she was soon brushed aside, the winner hitting the line two-and-a-quarter lengths in front despite her tongue lolling out.

Urban Fox (40/1) was six lengths further away in third with Sobetsu and Spatial both proving very disappointing.

Moore said: "She travelled beautifully into the race. She's won very easily. She's done that with a real lot of class. The last time I rode her was at Goodwood, she impressed me that day. She was disappointing the last day – she hung a bit – but she's back to her best. She's an awful lot of class."

O'Brien said of the winner: "She's a very good filly. She's a filly that's really progressed. We were a little bit confused with her (Rhododendron's) Moyglare run.

"We thought she was a little bit better than the other filly (Hydrangea). It just goes to show the Moyglare was a very good race. We thought she would like to go up to a mile, which she did today. They're two very high-class fillies and we knew they were progressing. That might be it for the year, but the lads will talk about that and see what they want to do. Both fillies are in a good place at the moment, so it (Breeders' Cup) is an option if the lads want to do that."

Sky Bet make the Rhododendron 7/1 for both next year's QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Investec Oaks from 16/1 and 14/1 respectively.

Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "You had to be impressed with that performance. She clearly appreciated both the step up in trip and fast ground and goes into a winter quarters as a leading player for next year's Classics."

  • Rhododendron was advised by Ian Ogg in his stats column, check out Saturday's guide here

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