Minding: winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos
By Tony McFadden and johnny ward 4:22PM 26 JUN 2016
Report: Curragh, Sunday
Pretty Polly Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, 3yo+, filles and mares
MINDING made light work of her rivals to win the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh, bolstering the impression that she is one of the best fillies we have seen in recent years.
Punters who took the 1-5 on offer about the dual Classic winner may have been slightly anxious when Bocca Baciata turned into the straight with a significant advantage, but Minding quickened sharply when asked to make her challenge by Ryan Moore and surged clear to win by four and a half lengths.
Bocca Baciata held on to finish second as the other three runners failed to make an impression from off the pace.
An impressed Ryan Moore said: “She was set a task but had the class to get out of it. She picked up to get there and then we shut down the last furlong. There’s more there if we need it.
“She’s a high class filly. She’s adaptable, and goes on a variety of ground. I’m very lucky to ride her, she’s a pleasure.”
Nassau probably next
Minding has had a busy season so far but the results have been outstanding and O’Brien feels she is thriving on racing.
He said: “She’s loving racing, getting very relaxed – she’s very happy doing it. Ryan was delighted and, without putting it in stone, we’d look at the Nassau.
“You couldn’t rule out the Irish Oaks but we also have Even Song for that.
Minding is a top price of 5-2 for the Nassau Stakes but is likely to be considerably shorter for that Goodwood Group 1 once it is confirmed as the target.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Minding suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Jet Setting in the Irish 1,000 Guineas but has won her other three starts of the campaign – all at the highest level – with supreme authority.
This was the first time that Minding competed against older fillies and she dispatched them with ease, looking a class above her rivals as she motored clear inside the final furlong under a hands-and-heels drive.
The versatile Minding has now won Group 1 races over a mile, ten furlongs and 1m4f this season.
Minding has already proved herself as the outstanding filly in training and bookmakers feel that she is capable of making an impression against the colts as she is just 8-1 – the same price as dual Derby winner Harzand – for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
O’Brien has other potential options – such as Found, US Army Ranger and Order of St George – for that prestigious contest, but he did reveal that he wants Minding to stay in training at four.
“I’ll plead that she stays in training – she’s exceptional,” O’Brien said. “The beauty about her is how laid-back she is.”