New Bush Hill Stud resident sire Flying The Flag saw his full-sister, two year old Rhododendron provide her sire Galileo with an additional Gr2 win the weekend, part of a double for the great son of Sadlers Wells.
The two year old full sister to Flying The Flag showed plenty of speed to win courageously over 1400m.
The O’Brien-trained Rhodedendron led home a 1-2 for Galileo in the G2 Debutante Stakes when holding off stablemate Hydrangea, who shares a sire and broodmare sire with Rhodedendron – both out of Pivotal mares. 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 reported: “Both fillies ran very well and 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 here for the G1 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.
Flying The Flag will be standing his first season at Bush Hill Stud this year. The son of Galileo is a 3-time winner as well as Gr1 placed in Dubai, Gr2 runner-up at two, and a Gr3 winner at age three in Ireland. He also lined up in the French 2000 Guineas, Irish 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby in a career that saw him racing in the UK, Ireland, France, United Arab Emirates and South Africa – where he placed in the Gr3 London News.
His dam is three-time Gr1 winner Halfway To Heaven by Pivotal, in turn out of 6-time winning speed machine and multiple Group Winner, Cassandra Go. This is the family of top sires Stravinsky and Verglas.
Flying The Flag has attracted a top class book of mares – including Look Sharp – the dam of Gr2 winning The Mouseketeer, Plutonium (the dam of Orion Quest and King Neptune), a Gr2 and Gr3 winning full sister to sire Biarritz named Countess Corlia amongst others.
Flying The Flag will stand for a fee of R20 000 in his first season and a fantastic incentive bonus of R100 000 is on offer to the breeder who produces the first Graded Stakes winner by Flying The Flag.
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