Newbury 3.40 (Lockinge Stakes) tips – Rhododendron a blooming lovely bet

Newbury 3.40 (Lockinge Stakes) tips - Rhododendron a blooming lovely bet

Rhododendron

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Betting Tip: @ Rhododendron @ 4/1 with ladbrokes

A competitive renewal with 16 set to go to post, but the one I keep coming back to is Aidan O’Brien’s RHODODENDRON, who is the only Group 1 mile winner in the field (a dual one in fact) and might prove too classy for these if running up to her best. A prolific winner at two, she had a mixed bag last season, with the highlights being her second in the Oaks behind Enable and a battling success in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera. But it was her final outing at the Breeders’ Cup that really caught the eye as she had the outside stall to overcome, was dropped in towards the back by Ryan Moore, who then had to weave his way through the pack only to find that the winner Wuheida had got first run. All those efforts were over further, but she’s not short of speed and a fast-run mile, which seems assured with a couple of stablemates on pacemaker duties, could prove absolutely ideal.

The concern is that this would not appear to be a race that O’Brien targets with his only success coming from Hawk Wing in 2004. However, that is probably because the race comes earlier in the season than ideal for his horses, who always improve massively for a run, so it’s a big positive that Rhododendron has already had an outing, shaping well to finish fourth in a French Group 1 20 days ago. The record of fillies is also encouraging as while only four have triumphed since 1984, three of those have come since 2004 and she’d be superior to most of the females that have taken their chance. In a race not known for shocks – horses sent off at 9/1 or bigger are 0-64 in the last ten years – she looks to have what it takes to become the eighth winning favourite (one joint) since 2008.

Most of those behind her in the betting have question marks over them, with the next in the betting Addeybb far from certain to appreciate this faster ground, while all of Limato’s successes at the highest level have come over shorter trips. There’s real scope for an outsider muscling their way into the frame and DUTCH CONNECTION can surely outrun his 50/1 price tag with Hills, who are paying out on four places. The key to this horse is fast ground – tick – and that was the reason for his two previous heavy defeats in this race. Last season was a write-off for him, but he’s reportedly never wintered so well and is moving great at home according to his trainer Charlie Hills. While both his Group wins came over 7f, he’s run with credit over this trip and with Jamie Spencer sure to have him covered up at the back early, he’s likely going to be flying home at the death.

Betting Tip: @ Rhododendron @ 4/1 with ladbrokes

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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