Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 26 February 2017

Flower power rules for O'Brien in Fillies' Mile

Johnny Ward

Rhododendron, with Ryan Moore up (left), on their way to capturing the Fillies’ Mile from stablemate Hydrangea at Newmarket yesterday. Picture: Getty Images
Rhododendron, with Ryan Moore up (left), on their way to capturing the Fillies’ Mile from stablemate Hydrangea at Newmarket yesterday. Picture: Getty Images

Fresh from saddling the first three in the Arc, Aidan O'Brien had a 1-2 in Newmarket's Group One Fillies' Mile yesterday, Rhododendron scoring smoothly for Ryan Moore.

Backed from 4/1 into 5/2, Rhododendron travelled easily in the middle of the track and stretched to a two-and-a-quarter-length win from Hydrangea, which ran an excellent race on the stands' side under Seamus Heffernan.

There were six lengths back to third, with O'Brien now on 19 Group One winners for the season and recording a 1-2 in a Group One for the 46th time. "That might be it for the year but the (owners) will talk about that," he said. "Both fillies are in a good place so (the Breeders' Cup) is an option."

Like the first three home at Chantilly, Rhododendron and Hydrangea are by Galileo. His progeny earnings in Europe in 2016 are now more than £14m.

Laganore, the best Flat horse Tony Martin has ever trained, produced a superb effort in the Pride Stakes under Jim Crowley. Sent off 13/2, she was restrained in rear. Making headway in the final quarter-mile, she collared favourite Lady Of Camelot and burst clear by four lengths.

Davy Russell will now not appeal against a 14-day ban picked up at Clonmel after he lost a race in the stewards' room last week.

The rider had emerged victorious aboard Little Folke but was ruled to have struck Solar Heat three times with his whip in the closing stages and the placings were reversed.

Russell was given three days for improper riding but was hit with an additional 14 days for his conduct to the Turf Club officials. Both he and trainer Henry de Bromhead have dropped their appeals, though Russell will likely have his referral at the Turf Club next week arising from his leaving the track when he still had rides to fulfil.

"Having arrived at Clonmel, which has no sauna, I had to leave the track again to lose another pound. I suppose I'd put so much both physically and mentally into winning that particular race that my emotions got the better of me," he wrote on his Betway blog.

Irish Independent

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