Belfast Telegraph

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Minding on course for Oaks bid

Minding appears to be winning her race to be fit in time for the Oaks on Friday June 3rd.

Aidan O'Brien's Classic winner remains ante-post favourite, despite finishing second to Jet Setting in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Minding burst a sinus when she banged her head in the starting stalls at the Curragh, but she looks on track for Epsom.

O'Brien said: "She rode out and cantered (on Tuesday morning). She did a gentle canter and we were all very happy with her.

"She will do very little I would imagine for the next 10 days.

"If she is well obviously we will look forward to it. Hopefully everything is going to be OK.

"There was no blood in her sinuses (on Tuesday morning), which was good."

Ballydoyle, runner-up to Minding in the Guineas at Newmarket, had been due to run in the Irish equivalent on Sunday but suffered a late setback.

Her participation in the Oaks is now in limbo, confirmed Coolmore UK representative Kevin Buckley.

He said: "Unfortunately, Ballydoyle did not have a 100 per cent blood count before the Irish Guineas and that is obviously still a bit of a concern.

"We will just have to sit and wait with her. There is a possibility she might not make the Oaks."

Buckley said stablemates Seventh Heaven and Somehow are unlikely to head to Epsom, but that Even Song had been pencilled in to run by O'Brien.

He added: "I would say she is second in the pecking order at this minute in time.

"She finished third in the Pretty Polly at Newmarket, but she had a bit of traffic trouble that day and ran on very well."

Skiffle is poised to be supplemented for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday week.

The Dubawi filly, owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, caught the eye at Goodwood last Thursday with a one-length success in the Listed Height of Fashion Stakes over a mile and a quarter.

She is now on verge of being added to the Oaks field at a cost of £30,000.

Godolphin chief executive and racing manager John Ferguson said: "She has thrived over the last month.

"She won well at Goodwood, a legitimate Oaks trial, and although the first thought was the Grade Two Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, recent events over the weekend suggested the Oaks might be a little more open than we thought.

"It would be wrong of us not to consider the possibility of supplementing.

"The ultimate decision will be made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed over the weekend."

Architecture was put through her paces at the 'Breakfast With The Stars' gathering at Epsom on Tuesday morning.

Runner-up to Seventh Heaven in the Oaks Fillies' Trial at Lingfield, trainer Hugo Palmer reported big-race jockey Frankie Dettori was impressed with the workout on the Downs.

The Newmarket handler said: "I think the first thing Frankie said was that he was caught by surprise.

"She is only the winner of a maiden and was beaten in her trial.

"I think going into this piece of work Frankie thought 'it is nice to have a ride, but I'm not sure we've a great chance'.

"He gave her a little squeeze and she really picked up for him. We are here with a live each-way chance and we are looking forward to it.

"It is nice that she gave Frankie a nice feel."


From Belfast Telegraph