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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Oaks favourite Rhododendron a late arrival after travel delay

Highland Reel, who races against his brother Idaho, in the Coronation Cup
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Aidan O'Brien's team of runners, including Investec Oaks favourite Rhododendron, endured a troubled passage to the track following lengthy delays to their flight over from Ireland.

Problems in-running round the tricky Epsom track are nothing new, but O'Brien's woes started early on Friday morning when his six runners had a long wait to make the journey over to Farnborough airport.

"Nothing went right with the travel," O'Brien said. "We were just expecting to take off when the fuel that was going into the plane starting going over the wing and down the other side. So everything had to be evacuated and we had to wait.

"The lads took off about 11 o'clock and were waiting at the airport from 7 o'clock.  They've been [at the track] since 2 o'clock. Everyone's been a big help and that's just the way it goes. Strange things can happen."

A disrupted preparation would have been the last thing O'Brien wanted as he bids to try maintain his perfect record in this season's Classics, while also trying to win another Coronation Cup, and he added: "It does make a difference. We'd have preferred if they were here earlier so they could be relaxed and have more time to chill. 

"They've come here, gone to their boxes and had a piddle and a drink and they're all going to have a little trot before the race and then come up to the paddock. Pat [Keating, travelling head lad] and everyone with the horses was very happy with them. It's not ideal but hopefully they'll be okay."

Nothing went right with the travel
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