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Magical Minding and Ryan Moore weave path to Oaks glory at Epsom

Published 03/06/2016

Minding before the Oaks
Minding before the Oaks

Minding overcame adversity to claim her second Classic success of the year in the Investec Oaks.

Aidan O'Brien's filly was a stunning winner of the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket at the start of May and while she suffered defeat when chasing the Guineas double at the Curragh less than a fortnight ago, she was the 10-11 favourite to get back on the winning trail at Epsom.

With his mount stepping up half a mile in distance, Ryan Moore rode a patient race, but found himself in a spot of bother rounding the turn for home. For a moment it looked as though Minding would have nowhere to go, but when the gap did come, she picked up quite brilliantly and was well on top at the line.

Architecture ran an excellent race to fill the runner-up spot, a length and three-quarters away, with Harlequeen back in third.

"I just had nowhere to go, but the filly got me out of trouble," said Moore.

"She was much the best (horse). She's a very good filly."

Minding was originally set to head straight for Epsom after her Newmarket triumph, but was drafted in as a late substitute for stable companion Ballydoyle in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

While her narrow defeat to Jet Setting at the Curragh was a big surprise, connections revealed she had suffered a minor head injury in the starting stalls but were happy to let her turn out just 12 days later.

For a moment it looked as though the Hugo Palmer-trained Architecture may have stolen a march on the favourite, but it is a measure of Minding's ability that she managed to overcome a severely troubled passage and still win with plenty in hand.

Moore added: "I had a charmed run, initially, but then they boys all wanted to get moving and came in on top of me. Her class got her out of trouble but she'll be effective over shorter trips, for sure."

O'Brien said: "She's an incredible filly, what can I say? To win the Guineas the way she did, then run at the Curragh on short notice. That didn't work, but she came out of it and she was incredible.

"She has speed, class, stamina, a great mind - everything. Ryan did brilliant to win on her after what she went through. Real heart, courage and guts had to come into it, but she had it in abundance, like all the Galileos.

"I'd say we'll probably give her an easy time but I'd imagine the lads will talk about it and see what they want to do. She's tough enough to come back here after the Curragh in soft ground.

"She puts her heart into it so we'll give her an easy time, I'd have thought, and then pick a target. After what we went through two weeks ago, we're delighted to be here."

Part-owner Michael Tabor said: "I didn't actually see the trouble, but the way she won was spectacular. She's something else - maybe we should have run her in the Derby!

"Her turn of foot was incredible. She's as good a filly we've seen for a long time, but I might be biased. I just wonder how she got beat in Ireland."

Palmer said of the second: "I'm hugely proud of her. There were several moments I thought we'd won, but, by god, the winner is good.

"It's a frustration she's still only the winner of a maiden but she's Listed and Group One-placed.

"I think the Ribblesdale (Royal Ascot) will come too soon for her. Frankie (Dettori) said she'd be very competitive in Ireland (Irish Oaks). She's improved and she's a proper top-class filly."

Mick Channon was thrilled with Harlequeen in third and said: "We'd have liked to have won but I think we've been beaten by a couple of good horses.

"She's improved as we thought she would. I don't know where we'll go but we'll run her where I think she can win. I'll probably rule out Ascot but I'm not saying that's completely out and we'll certainly look at the Irish Oaks.

"We had every chance turning in and I thought for a moment we were going to win but Hugo's horse quickened up that bit better. There's definitely improvement in ours."

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