Minding proves she’s a class above in the Investec Oaks

 
Ben Cleminson
Epsom Races
Source: Getty

After a far from ideal preparation, and a far from ideal passage around the home bend, Minding scorched clear of her rivals to win the Investec Oaks for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.

The daughter of Galileo became the first 1000 Guineas winner to follow-up in the Oaks since Kazzia in 2002, marking herself down as a truly exceptional filly.

Minding was hugely impressive at Newmarket, but things then went wrong when she was a late substitute in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.

She bumped her head on the stalls that day, resulting in a nasty cut, and then just couldn’t get past Jet Setting on the very soft ground.

Moore has always loved Minding, but he had a nightmare trip around the home bend when stuck behind a wall of horses.

At that point Frankie Dettori had made his move on Hugo Palmer’s Architecture and for a brief moment it looked like the pair could be celebrating their second Classic in just over a month after Galileo Gold’s 2000 Guineas win.

But Moore switched Minding up the inside rail which was when she showed her customary electric turn of foot to first catch Architecture and then go past.

This was Moore’s second Oaks win and he was quick to praise his mount. “I had nowhere to go, the filly got me out of trouble,” he admitted. “She was much the best, she’s a very good filly.”

O’Brien, who was winning his sixth Investec Oaks, was clearly delighted with the performance: “She’s an incredible filly. She has speed, class, stamina, a great mind. She has everything.

“She went to the Curragh on short notice and that didn’t work out for her. We were very happy with her at home, she was squealing yesterday. She has a lot of heart, courage and guts.”

Architecture ran a fantastic race on just her fourth career start and her trainer Palmer added: “We’re hugely proud of her. There were several moments when I thought ‘we’ve won this’. The winner is very good.”

Back in third was Harlequeen for Mick Channon and Silvestre De Sousa with a 14-length gap back to fourth-placed Somehow.

Coolmore have had plenty of success at Epsom in the past and the last word has to go to co-owner Michael Tabor: “She’s as good a filly as we’ve seen for a long while. She’s as good as it gets.”