Rhododendron was one of the unluckiest 1000 Guineas runner-ups in history at Newmarket earlier this month where she was held up in running, ultimately losing all her momentum at an important point in the race. This meant she had to chase down stablemate Winter for second place in the Classic for fillies over a mile.
Irish Champion Trainer Aidan O’Brien won’t have been too upset about the race at Newmarket as Winter’s success still meant he did the Guineas double after Churchill was too quick for the colts 24 hours earlier. It was the third time in his career that he has mopped up both races on the same weekend.
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Rhododendron should be able to gain revenge for her Guineas defeat when she steps up in trip at Epsom for the Oaks over 1m4f. Unlike many of the horses who lined up at Newmarket, there should be no stamina doubts about the daughter of Galileo, who could actually be better for the stiffer test on the Downs next month – which really would signal bad news for the rest of the field.
As stated by comparison site Bookies Offers, O’Brien’s filly is a best price of 2/1 for Oaks success, so it may be worth looking out for the best UK betting & free bets offers for 2017 in order to maximise a potential return.
The best jockey in the world, Ryan Moore, will be on board again in the Oaks and he rides Epsom better than any jockey around today. If successful, Rhododendron will provide O’Brien with his third Classic winner from three races in 2017 heading into the Derby a day later.
Cracksman May Follow In Golden Horn’s Footsteps
The vibes surrounding Churchill’s Derby bid this year seem weak as it does not appear as though connections are confident their horse will stay the 1m4f trip. If this is indeed the case, they may not even risk Epsom and instead save their horse for Royal Ascot with the St James’s Palace Stakes in mind, which as you can see from the recent trends in the race, it suits the best three-year milers as Frankel, Dawn Approach and Gleneagles have all been successful during the last decade.
One horse who will definitely be campaigned for the Derby is Cracksman from John Gosden’s yard, who appears to tick a lot of boxes ahead of the race and, at 8/1, looks a cracking bet to come out on top. The colours of this runner will be very familiar to you as he is owned by Anthony Oppenheimer, whose silks were carried to victory in the 2015 Derby by Frankie Dettori on board the very talented Golden Horn.
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Cracksman didn’t run in the 2000 Guineas but instead made his seasonal reappearance at Epsom in the Derby Trial last month. He got the victory by a short head in front of the Mark Johnston-trained Permian. Gosden’s runner took a keen hold early into the race, and while he didn’t get a clear run inside the last three furlongs, once in the open he picked up well under the hands of Dettori to get up for the win.
The Rhododendron and Cracksman double works out at around 26/1 so it might be worth putting the two horses together, which will give you a very nice return if successful.