03rd June 2016

O’BRIEN LANDS SIXTH INVESTEC OAKS THANKS TO MINDING

Aidan O'Brien's remarkable record as a trainer of Classic winners was given further embellishment today when Minding landed the £475,000 Group One Investec Oaks - his sixth success in the Epsom fillies' Classic.

 

Ridden by Ryan Moore, she overcame trouble in running and having to be snatched up soon after turning into the straight, and scored by one and three-quarters of a length and eight lengths from Architecture (12/1) and Harlequeen (14/1). In doing so, Minding became the first winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Investec Oaks double since Godolphin's Kazzia pulled it off in 2002. In between the two Classic wins she also finished a close second in the Group One Irish 1,000 Guineas, despite banging her head on leaving the stalls.

 

Minding is a daughter of champion sire and Investec Derby winner Galileo, out of the high-class filly Lillie Langtry, who won over a mile, but not beyond.

 

O'Brien, who trains the winner for Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor, said: "She's an incredible filly to win the Guineas the way she did, then go to the Curragh at short notice when it didn't work out for her, and then come here. She has speed, class, stamina and a great mind.

 

"Ryan did brilliantly to win on her given what she went through during the race - they make an incredible pair.

 

"Everyone at home who has anything to do with her was sure she was fine [after the Curragh] and she gave a squeal yesterday which was really encouraging. Real heart and guts and courage had to come into it during the last furlong and a half, but she had all that in abundance like all the Galileos. When you go digging they usually give it.

 

"We'll probably give her a little easy time now, although the lads will have a talk about what they want to do. It was tough enough to come back here after the Curragh, which was a tough race on soft ground.

 

"The thing she had in her favour was that she was hacking throughout the whole race - that was class. It was still some effort. Ryan was very cool, and while he went after the runner-up [Architecture, who was making her way home having pulled clear of the rest] he didn't panic. She had to go into reserves and she did.

 

Minding held an entry in the Investec Derby, and winning joint-owner Michael Tabor hinted after today's race that it might have been a good option. O'Brien said: "If Michael said that I'd have to listen, but after what we went through two weeks ago [at the Curragh] we're just delighted to be here."

 

MINDING HAS CLASS TO OVERCOME TROUBLE

                                                                   

Jockey Ryan Moore recorded his second victory in the Investec Oaks after Minding ran out the impressive one and three quarter length winner of the fillies' Classic at Epsom Downs this afternoon.

 

Moore, who rode Snow Fairy to success in the 2010 Investec Oaks, didn't have the easiest of passages throughout the race but the 10/11 favourite responded well when she found daylight to move alongside the runner-up Architecture (12/1) and she powered away strongly to register a famous victory.

 

"I had a charmed run and then all the boys wanted to get moving and came on top of me," said Moore.

 

"Mr Smith's horse (Jeff Smith - owner of Australian Queen, who finished last of the eight finishers after Diamonds Pour Moi was pulled up) was dropping back and I had nowhere to go at that stage.

 

"She is a good filly and got me out of trouble. She is much the best. Her class got her out of trouble and she will be effective at shorter.

 

"She's just a high class filly and she's now won two Classics (Minding also won the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket) as well as two Group One races as a two-year-old.

 

"The pace was slow and then when Mr Smith's horse moved back, I just didn't have any room at that stage. I wanted to be patient with her and take the chance when it came.

 

"I got a bit smashed up on the rail for a bit but her class got us out of trouble.

 

"I always felt that we'd saved plenty as things had gone smoothly up to that point. I had no doubt she was the best filly and the best fillies get you out of trouble.

 

"I never felt the race was slipping away though - I knew she had the class to win."

 

ARCHITECTURE A SOLID SECOND IN OAKS

 

Hugo Palmer was pleased with the run of Architecture who finished a length and three-quarter second to Aidan O'Brien's impressive winner Minding in the Group One Investec Oaks, the highlight of Investec Ladies' Day.

 

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, the daughter of Zoffany travelled kindly throughout in behind the leaders and managed to miss the trouble encountered by Minding by travelling on the outside.

 

Architecture was in front at the two furlong pole but was gradually run down by O'Brien's filly with Hugo Palmer's charge running all the way to the line, highlighting her stamina credentials.

 

Palmer who has already tasted classic success this year with Galileo Gold in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas said: "I am hugely proud of Architecture. There were several moments in the race when I thought we had won this but my god the winner is good. Frankie said she will be very competitive again in Ireland.

 

"I am very proud of her efforts. That is only the fourth run of her career and I think there is a lot to come from her. Minding is an unbelievably high class filly. Watching the race, I think you could see why Frankie has won more of these races than other jockey who has ever lived.

 

"It completely wasn't the plan as we thought there would have been no pace, we thought we would be prominent but Frankie shuffled her back and took his time with her. She is so light and nimble around these turns and the hill. Frankie put her in that position to travel well into the race.

 

"When Frankie came round Tattenham Corner, she was going so well.. To be fair you have to marvel at the winner's [Minding] performance because she did not like she was going to win until she came past us. She only came past us in the last 150 yards and she looked beaten for all money until that point.

 

"Architecture has run an enormous race. It is slightly frustrating that she is still only a winner of a maiden but she has won quite a chunk of prize money and is Listed and Group One placed."

 

As for the future, Palmer suggested the Irish Oaks could be a possible target. He remarked: "She is a very exciting horse to have in the stable. I think the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot will come just too quickly for her.

 

"I don't have the embarrassment of riches of Ballydoyle but I am lucky enough to have some nice fillies including We Are Ninety who we did not bring her today. I just need to keep them two fillies and Covert Love away from each other so we will target these horses at separate races.

 

"The Irish Oaks could be a strong possibility but all options are open. What she does need to be is a stakes winner. She has been second in an Oaks trial, second in an Oaks, she has to come on and win one of these races but quite where we will go, we will know when the dust is settled.

 

Mick Channon was also pleased with the effort of Harlequeen who finished nine and three-quarter lengths behind the winner Minding. Channon said: "It was her fourth run and I do feel she will get better with time. If we can keep her together she has a bright future. We are very pleased. The first three came a long way clear particularly the first two but it was only her fourth run."

 

Channon had not decided on any future plans for the daughter of Canford Cliffs but suggested the Irish Oaks or the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot were both possibilities. He commented: "She is still in the process of maturing and I do think she will get better with time. She has a good attitude, nothing seems to bother her and we are absolutely delighted.

 

"I have not looked beyond today with her. Obviously, coming in here, we ruled the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot out but we will have to see.

 

Channon added about the Irish Oaks: "She is in the Irish Oaks and I don't see why we shouldn't look at running her in that. It would be the obvious race to look at but we need to get her home and have a look at her. If she is fit and well I would run her."

 

JOCKEYS AFTER THE INVESTEC OAKS

 

Frankie Dettori, on board the one-and-thee-quarter length second Architecture, said: "I had a superb run, I saw Ryan was in trouble and I knew I would stay so I made my way home two out but he was better than me. If there was one horse who was going to get me it was Minding. I beat the others eight lengths. It was a superb run. I think the Irish Oaks would be the next but you would have to check with Hugo [Palmer, trainer]."

 

Silvestre De Sousa, jockey of third Harlequeen, said: "She ran well."

 

Seamie Heffernan, rider of fourth Somehow, said: "I was hoping to win but I finished fourth. It was a step up on her last run and as long as they keep stepping up on run to run...."

 

William Buick, partner of fifth Skiffle, said: "I don't think she handled the ground at all. She travelled well and then when we went to go there was nothing. She will be a better horse on better ground."

 

Colm O'Donoghue, jockey of sixth Seventh Heaven, said: "She never went on the ground - it is the first time she has encountered it."

 

Kevin Manning, on board  seventh Turret Rocks, said: "I travelled well down the hill but just as I was coming four furlongs from home the ground shifted under her and she lost her confidence, she started to back off and her run was done."

 

James Doyle, partner of eighth Australian Queen, said: "She had to make a big step up and she just didn't. She struggled to handle the ground and the track."

 

Oisin Murphy, rider of Diamonds Pour Moi who pulled up, said: "There is nothing obvioius at the moment, she doesn't seem to distressed but she is obviously not a hundred percent. It is unfortunate but she will live to fight another day."

 

David Redvers, Sheikh Fahad's racing manager, added: "She has just lost her action."