Minding overcomes trouble to land Investec Oaks at Epsom

There was a sense of joy and relief on the face of trainer Aidan O’Brien as 1000 Guineas heroine Minding regained her air of invincibility in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.
Minding overcomes trouble to land Investec Oaks at Epsom

After suffering a surprise defeat in the Irish 1,000 Guineas just 12 days ago following her demolition job in the Newmarket Classic, there was an element of doubt about whether the daughter of Galileo would stay the extra half a mile.

Looking relaxed and settled in the build-up to the race, the 10-11 favourite - one of three runners in the race for O’Brien - was settled close to the rear of the field by Ryan Moore in her quest to give her master handler a sixth win in the race.

Those patient tactics looked like backfiring on the turn for home as a combination of the pace steadying up front and several runners waving the white flag saw Minding stopped in her tracks, losing momentum at a vital stage.

As Moore had to sit and suffer, at the other end of the field Frankie Dettori stormed on aboard Architecture.

Crucially, though, the gaps came for Moore, and in an effort which demonstrated the unique talent she possesses, Minding closed down the 12-1 shot entering the final quarter of a mile.

A battle royal looked set to to commence, but as the furlong pole loomed there was only going be one winner.

As the brave run of Architecture came to an end, Minding forged on in determined fashion to pass the post with a length and three-quarters to spare to complete a Classic double last achieved by Kazzia in 2002.

Following the race, the winner was cut from 12-1 into 5-1 for the Arc with Paddy Power, while Ladbrokes went 8-1 for the same race.

O’Brien said: “She’s an incredible filly, what can I say?

“To win the Guineas the way she did, then run at the Curragh on short notice. That didn’t work, but she came out of it and she was incredible.

“She has speed, class, stamina, a great mind - everything. Ryan did brilliant to win on her after what she went through.

“Real heart, courage and guts had to come into it, but she had it in abundance, like all the Galileos.

“I’d say we’ll probably give her an easy time but I’d imagine the lads will talk about it and see what they want to do.

“After what we went through two weeks ago we’re delighted to be here.”

Moore paid compliment to the filly for getting him out of trouble.

He said: “I had a charmed run, initially, but then the boys all wanted to get moving and came in on top of me.

“Her class got her out of trouble but she’ll be effective over shorter trips, for sure.”

“I just had nowhere to go, but the filly got me out of trouble,”

“She was much the best (horse). She’s a very good filly. She has outstayed and outbattled them.”

A trip to Ireland for a shot at the Irish Oaks looks likely for Architecture, according to trainer Hugo Palmer, who won the race 12 months ago with Covert Love.

The Newmarket handler said: “I’m hugely proud of her. There were several moments I thought we’d won, but, by god, the winner is good.

“I think the Ribblesdale (Royal Ascot) will come too soon for her.”

A rematch could be on the cards for Architecture and third-placed Harlequeen, with trainer Mick Channon suggesting a trip to Ireland may also be next for his filly.

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