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Magical Minding storms home in Guineas

1 May 2016

Aidan O'Brien enjoys famous 1-2-3 as favourite turns Classic into a procession

Minding 1000 Guineas win

Minding was a breathtaking three and a half length winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket today as Aidan O’Brien enjoyed a fabulous 1-2-3 in the fillies’ Classic.

The daughter of Galileo won with such authority that bookmakers cut her to odds-on for next month’s Investec Oaks. However, depending on how her stablemates fare in the traditional trials, there is the tantalising prospect of her being supplemented for the Investec Derby,  for which she is quoted at 3-1 with a run by some layers.

O’Brien had been left mystified by the flop of Air Force Blue in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas yesterday but his domination this afternoon was absolute. It was a sparkling way to chalk up his 250th Group 1 winner, 24 of which have been in British Classics.

Minding, the 11-10 favourite, was in a different league to her 15 rivals and, having travelled powerfully throughout, sauntered clear under Ryan Moore in the second race of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Behind her, Ballydoyle did not enjoy a clear passage on the stands’ rail but she kept on valiantly without ever looking like being able to land a blow.

And also keeping on stoutly was the stable’s “third string”Alice Springs, who fended off Fireglow to claim third.

“We were delighted with them all,” a jubilant O’Brien said. “They are three top-class fillies. It’s a big team effort so it’s great for everybody. It was marvellous.

“We thought she was a very nice filly, but a lot of hard work goes in by a lot of people.

“We’ve always thought she’d stay but obviously we’ll talk about the Oaks, as you would. She’s something to look forward to.”

Remarkably, the trio had finished in the same order when contesting the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September.

On that occasion Minding prevailed by three quarters of a length but her subsequent runaway win in the Fillies’ Mile showed she had progressed and, on today’s evidence, she will also be a match for the colts should connections entertain the idea of the Derby instead of the Oaks.

Asked if Minding could bypass the 1m4f fillies’ Classic in favour of the Derby, Michael Tabor, one of the co-owners, said: “I’m a purist and I don’t like winning that type of race with a filly, but it depends on how the others do in the trials.

“Next week it is Chester and then there is the Derrinstown. Only then do you make your decision. But how bad is it to win an Oaks? We also have to think about the runner-up and the third. Where will they go?

“Anyway, where we go with them is a terrific problem to have.”

Earlier, the Andre Fabre-trained Usherette had pounced from off the pace to overhaul long-time leader Arabian Queen in the final half furlong of the Group 2 Charm Spirit At Tweenhills in 2017 Dahlia Stakes. The winner prevailed by a snug half a length, with the pair four lengths clear.

Fabre said of the Godolphin-owned daughter of Shamardal: “She is an exciting prospect. Her record is a bit miserable so far but she works fantastic and I was quite confident.

“I was stupid last year, she was a bit laid back and I didn’t think she had the speed but she’s much better this year and she has the best weapon you can have, acceleration.

“She will come back here for the Falmouth or before then at Ascot. She has more acceleration than Esoterique had but the class is the same. She is among the best I have trained. This was only her fifth race so there is a lot more to come from her.”