Minding: star filly is odds-on for another Group 1 victory
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Tony O’Hehir 7:36AM 26 JUN 2016
Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes (Group 1) | 1m2f, 3yo fillies + mares | ATR
MINDING, one of the outstanding performers of the season, enters new territory today when taking on older rivals for the first time as she bids for a fifth Group 1 victory.
The Qipco 1,000 Guineas winner, who overcame trouble in running to land a second British Classic in the Investec Oaks this month, is the only three-year-old in the line-up for the Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes.
Ryan Moore’s mount is opposed by just Lucida, Bocca Baciata and two British-trained challengers in Koora and Speedy Boarding.
Aidan O’Brien, who has sent out three winners of the event – Peeping Fawn (2007), Misty For Me (2011) and Diamondsandrubies, who held Legatissimo by a short head a year ago – yesterday reported Minding in fine shape for her bid to add a Group 1 win over 1m2f to her top-level victories over 7f, 1m and 1m4f.
O’Brien said: “Minding hasn’t done a whole lot since Epsom but she’s in good form and we’re happy with her. She doesn’t like extremes of ground, but ground on the slow side of good will be fine for her.”
Luca Cumani, trainer of Koora, second in the Middleton Stakes at York on her only previous start this year, is taking a realistic approach into the race.
“We’re up against it,” he admitted. “Minding is a very good filly, as she has shown in the Guineas and Oaks, and, on top of that, she’s also getting 12lb. She’s practically unbeatable.
“We’re just hoping to run a good race and will be delighted if Koora can finish second or third.”
James Fanshawe, trainer of Speedy Boarding, is similarly minded, and said: “Speedy Boarding won the Prix Corrida nicely on slow ground in France. She came out of it in good shape and worked well last Saturday but we all have a bit to find with Minding.”
Lucida, like Minding, will be tackling the trip for the first time. The Jim Bolger-trained filly, last year runner-up in the 1,000 Guineas and third in the Coronation Stakes, will be attempting to improve on her two runs at Group 2 level this year.
Bocca Baciata has failed to reach the first three in three attempts in Group 1 company but she has performed creditably in good races, winning once in Group 3 company and twice in Listed events.
Trainer Jessica Harrington said: “Our filly seems to be in great form but I don’t want to see much more rain for her.”