Ryan Moore registered a remarkable eighth win in this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series as star filly Minding secured her sixth Group One success in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
Europe’s richest race for fillies and mares had looked at the mercy of the 1/5 favourite but Minding had to roll up her sleeves to fend off Queen’s Trust by a length and a quarter after meeting slight trouble in the straight and dropping to last.
Before this year, the most wins any jockey had enjoyed in the Series was Tom Queally, who chaled up six in 2012 – the year after it was initiated.
With 14 races left, Moore has double figures in his sights. The three-time champion has achieved three Series wins on Minding (QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Investec Oaks and Nassau) and has also secured victories on Order Of St George (Gold Cup), Twilight Son (Diamond Jubilee Stakes), Alice Springs (Falmouth Stakes), Highland Reel (King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes) and The Gurkha (Qatar Sussex Stakes).
The 32-year-old has also finished runner-up in six other Series races. Moore didn’t ride in either the King’s Stand Stakes, Commonwealth Cup or Goodwood Cup. His record in the other 18 Series races reads 0121220221331210111. Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien, the trainer of Minding, has enjoyed seven winners in the Series – matching his previous best achieved in 2012. Last year, he had three.
After Minding had found to prevail from four rivals, a delighted O’Brien , 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 traveller, 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. He remarked: “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.”
Moore was happy enough with Minding after the race and explained that she was never going to win that well because of the way the race panned out.
He 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.
“To keep this filly coming back with as hard a campaign as she has had – she has run in seven Group Ones 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 runner-up is owned by Cheveley Park Stud, whose Chris Richardson said: “She’s run a fantastic race – we’ve always believed in her and Sir Michael always knew she had a huge amount of class, natural ability and talent, and she was unlucky last year in the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket and again on two occasions this year.
“Last time in the Ribblesdale Stakes [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.”
Jemayel kept on for third and Harry Herbert, representing Al Shaqab Racing, said: “She’s run an absolute blinder. We didn’t come here expecting to beat Minding, but it’s such a prestigious race with such wonderful prize money, and so we came hoping to get second or third and she’s done that.”