Lockinge Stakes: Rhododendron beats Lightning Spear in photo finish at Newbury

Rhododendron
Rhododendron was given victory ahead of Lightning Spear in a close finish

Favourite Rhododendron beat Lightning Spear by a short head to become the first filly since Red Evie in 2007 to win the Group One Lockinge Stakes.

It was a thrilling climax, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained four-year-old given the win following a photo finish.

"After what happened at the French Oaks [pulled up], and what Aidan has done with her - it's a massive turnaround," jockey Ryan Moore told ITV Sport.

Another O'Brien runner, Lancaster Bomber, finished third.

Moore, who won the Newbury race for the first time, added: "She's been a great filly at two, three and now four.

"It's testament to everyone who puts in the hard work at home. She's been unfortunate not to have won more in her time.

"She's very adaptable with ground, distance and has got a great attitude."

Analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Aidan O'Brien believes this will have put Rhododendron just right for either the Queen Anne or the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But, wherever she does go, there's little doubt the filly, who overcame the potential hindrance of finding herself racing alone for the final quarter-mile or so, will be another significant player for team O'Brien.

What a gallant performance from the likeable Lightning Spear, runner-up - or should we say on this particular day 'pageboy' - for the second year running.

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