Champion Minding put to rest any doubts concerning her stamina when she overcame a troubled trip to win the Group 1 Investec Oaks by 1 3/4 lengths at Epsom Racecourse June 3.
The 3-year-old daughter of Galileo notched her second classic victory of the season and became the first filly since Kazzia in 2002 to complete the English 1,000 Guineas – Investec Oaks double. Minding has won five of eight lifetime starts, and has never finished worse than second. She entered the Oaks off a narrow loss to Jet Setting in the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas May 22.
A field of nine sophomore fillies went to the post in the Oaks, with Minding going off as the favorite despite lingering questions surrounding her ability to get the 12-furlong distance.
At the start it was Minding's stablemate Somehow that went to the front to set the pace under Seamie Heffernan. That pair was soon joined by Australian Queen, with jockey Ryan Moore content to settle Minding in sixth through the early stages of the race.
The trouble began for Minding as the field raced through Tattenham Corner. Australian Queen began to fade and drop back, as Moore was attempting to make his move aboard Minding. The pair were suddenly in tight quarters, in between Turret Rocks along the rail and Skiffle and Seventh Heaven to their outside.
Moore was forced to take up on Minding, and the duo appeared suddenly out of contention as they dropped back to next-to-last. Once the field entered the home straight, however, Moore was able to get Minding into the clear and the filly showed an impressive turn of foot to overtake Architecture with two furlongs to go before drawing off to a decisive victory.
Architecture and Frankie Dettori had to settle for second, with Harlequeen another eight lengths back in third. Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:42.66 over the good to soft going.
Minding became the sixth Oaks winner for her trainer, Aidan O'Brien, who also saddled the 2015 Oaks winner, Qualify. Like Minding, Qualify was also sired by Galileo.
Minding was bred in Ireland by Orpendale, Chelston, and Wynatt, and races for the partnership of Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor. Minding is the second foal out of Lillie Langtry (by Danehill Dancer), winner of the Group 1 Coronation Stakes and co-champion 3-year-old filly in England.
After the race Ryan Moore told reporters, “I had a charmed run and then the boys all wanted to get moving and came on top of me. She had nowhere to go but thankfully she got me out of trouble.”
“She's much the best, she's a very good filly. Her class got her out of trouble and she'll be effective at shorter, for sure.”
Aidan O'Brien added, “She's incredible, what can I say? She has speed, class, stamina and a great mind.”
“Real heart and guts and courage had to come into it with a furlong and a half to go and she had it in abundance,” O'Brien continued. “Like all the Galileos, when you go digging, they usually have it. We will give her a little easy time now and then pick a time for her.”
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