Rhododendron back in full bloom for Seamie Heffernan

Sun 1 Oct 2017

Watch a replay of how Rhododendron won the Prix de l'Opera plus an interview with Aidan O'Brien

By Racinguk.com staff

Rhododendron saw off stablemate Hydrangea to claim top honours in the Longines-sponsored Prix de l'Opera at Chantilly.

Ryan Moore sided with Hydrangea following her narrow victory over another Ballydoyle inmate Winter in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

Rhododendron, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, finished second in the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks earlier in the year, but had disappointed on her two most recent outings.

Aidan O'Brien's pair were never too far off the pace being set by John Gosden's The Black Princess and after fighting their way to the front in the final furlong, it was Rhododendron who claimed a narrow verdict.

O'Brien said: "We've just been talking, me and Michael (Tabor, part-owner), about sending her (Rhododendron) to the USA for the (Breeders' Cup) Filly & Mare Turf. I think that will be the plan.

"She had a bad day the last time she came here (pulled up), which stopped her for six weeks, and the lads did a great job to get her back.

"She's all class and we thought she would win the Oaks, only for her to run into Enable at Epsom.

"I'm delighted with Hydrangea and there's a good chance that she could also go for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare."

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