Minding shrugs off trouble to capture sixth Group 1 in Nassau
Edited press release
Star filly Minding, the world's joint best-three-year-old filly beforehand, secured her sixth Group 1 success in Saturday’s Nassau Stakes, the feature race on day five of the Goodwood Festival and Europe's richest race for fillies and mares.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien, who was recording his third success in the race (Peeping Fawn 2007 and Halfway to Heaven 2008) and ridden by Ryan Moore, the daughter of Galileo travelled well throughout the one mile and two-furlong contest but met slight trouble in the straight after being snatched up and dropping to last.
However, Minding showed her star quality to grind out victory after taking up the lead. While O'Brien's charge did not show an instant turn of foot, the 1-5 favorite found plenty all the way to the line to record a workmanlike success by 1 1/4 lengths from Queen's Trust.
“Obviously we think the world of her,” Moore said. “Today was never going to be impressive - it was always going to be a messy race. It was a small field and she was drawn in one so it was going to be tactical. I've had to get myself out of trouble early and then try and keep it simple.
“It wasn't really ideal for her. I was in front two out and I know the second filly (Queen’s Trust) is quite good as well. When James (Doyle aboard Beautiful Romance) came across me, we were going slow and I was three wide and just got pushed back in. I needed the race to develop though.
“As soon as I went wide, I was able to recover. It was always going to be a messy sort of race today and it was just a question of keeping it as simple as we could. She has got an awful lot of class, she only does what she has to do and that's why she is able to keep winning.
“To keep this filly coming back with as hard a campaign as she has had - she has run in seven Group 1s in a row now and won six of them - she is a very special filly. She's won them all from a mile to a mile and a half - she always does what we ask of her. It's always hard to compare horses but it is hard to know how good this filly is because she is doing it over a variety of trips and she only does what she has to do. The ground is actually a bit loose and it's just on the easy side. I think she would rather it nicer.
“It was always going to be that way though today - it was messy. I'm not sure about the Arc (de Triomphe [G1]) - we'll see what Aidan says afterwards. It's a long way away though - we'll just enjoy today first.”
A delighted O'Brien registering his fourth success of the week, said: “She was very well coming into the race. We were happy with her at home. We knew it was going to be a small field today and that it was going to be tactical. It was rough enough for her but Ryan negotiated it brilliantly and got through it.
“Hopefully, she'll be fine and OK after the race. I was nervous watching it and a lot of things can happen and race riding can be dangerous at the best of times at the speed they're going but we had the right outcome today.
“She is a great traveler, she quickens very well, she stays very well. She looks after herself when she gets to the front. She is thriving and she has a great mind. She is an unusual filly who can cruise, relax and quicken. She has always been a big powerful filly but physically she is doing very well. She was big, strong and powerful today.”
O'Brien would not be drawn on future targets for the filly who looks to have plenty of different possibilities:
“I'm not sure what the lads will do with her now but she can go down plenty of different ways from now. They'll probably decide in a week or so but she has plenty of options. She is getting a lot of experience. They're not all big fields she is running in but any field can be rough so she is learning and getting experience all the time.
“The lads will have to make their minds up about where to go next. Obviously, she has the choice of York, Leopardstown, and some of those races. She can have a rest and maybe go to France, so she has a lot of options open to her now.
“She is very versatile. A mile, a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half - it all seems to come alike to her. We were a little bit worried about the small field today. It can get tactical and messy but Ryan handled it great and worked it out great. We are delighted.
“The great thing about her is that she conserves herself now because she has become very professional. She knows when she is asked to go and only does what she has to do. She is very professional, which is marvelous and what you look for in a horse.
“The amazing thing about her is that she is probably ready to go most roads now. Hopefully, she will come home well from today and we will see how she is then but she is ready to go into most slots now.
“She doesn't have to take on the colts if the lads decide not to but she can step into different company now if she wants. It's great to have her and it's great that she doesn't mind running often. It's great to be able to see her out so often.
“This is a great filly. She has danced every dance. She was special as a two-year-old, won well in the 1000 Guineas (G1) and has kept on progressing. She gets a mile and a quarter very well but when she gets there, she doesn't do much more so it is difficult to assess her.”
Asked about the possibility of Minding staying in training, O'Brien was very open to the idea.
“The lads love their racing and I imagine if she is well there would be a chance. Everyone gets a lot of enjoyment out of her. I think there is a good chance.”
The 16-1 Queen's Trust, who was ridden by James McDonald, went down fighting by 1 1/4 lengths, with the same distance back to third-placed Jemayel.
Chris Richardson, a director of Cheveley Park Stud, was not surprised by Queen's Trust.
“She's run a fantastic race - we've always believed in her and Sir Michael (Stoute) always knew she had a huge amount of class, natural ability and talent, and she was unlucky last year (when fifth) in the Oh So Sharp Stakes (G3) at Newmarket and again on two occasions this year.
“Last time in the Ribblesdale Stakes ([G2] at Royal Ascot] she was an awfully long way back turning for home, but we knew from that she stayed today's trip and will stay further. The quicker ground may have helped, but she has talent, and there is no one better than Sir Michael with these sort of fillies. He said after the Ribblesdale let's go for the Nassau - OK, we had Minding to beat but let's take her on.”
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