Flying The Flag Full Sister Rhododendron Wins 1400m Gr2 Debutante

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.

Flying The Flag
Flying The Flag at Bush Hill Stud’s Stallion Day. Image: Candiese Marnewick

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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