Pretty special Minding plays part in Aidan O’Brien four-timer

English Guineas and Oaks winner Minding fulfilled expectations with a stylish display against older fillies in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes on the final day of the Derby meeting at the Curragh.

Pretty special Minding plays part in Aidan O’Brien four-timer

Prohibitively priced, at 1-5, the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly settled nicely in third place as Bocca Baciata attempted to control the race from the front.

The latter raced some eight lengths clear leaving the back, but there were no signs of panic from Ryan Moore, aboard the favourite.

As they turned for home, the leader still held an advantage of some six lengths and, while the remainder struggled to muster a meaningful effort, Moore asked his filly to move through the gears — and she responded with typical aplomb.

After building a head of steam, she gathered in the leader inside the final furlong, and stayed on strongly to win by a wide margin.

Said O’Brien: “She’s a great filly. She’s loving racing, she’s getting very relaxed, and is switching off. Ryan was delighted with her.

"Her two options are the Irish Oaks and the Nassau, and you’d like to give her a rest somewhere then. But she is enjoying her racing.

“Without writing anything in stone, I thought we’d look at something like the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. I hope she’ll stay in training next year — I’ll certainly be pleading for that.”

The Arc could be a long-term target, but stable-companions Found, US Army Ranger and Order Of St George also remain in the picture for that race.

Minding’s victory was the third leg of a four-timer for O’Brien, who took all four stakes races on the card.

The ball was set rolling by Sir Isaac Newton, who followed up his Royal Ascot win with a fine effort in the Group 3 Finlay Volvo International Stakes. The 11-8 favourite settled behind the pace early before being brought with a daring run along the inside of market rival Chemical Charge with just over a furlong to race.

Room was at a premium as he made his move, but he had the necessary courage and speed to make it through, before edging ahead in the closing stages to win a shade comfortably.

“It has taken a long time for the penny to drop, but he’s starting to mature and relax,” said O’Brien. “He’s a horse that could suit America, as he likes a nice bit of pace.”

The same connections combined to win the six-furlong Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes with Roly Poly who showed no ill-effects from her journey to Ascot as she pulled out all the stops to see off the determined effort of British raider Seafront by a neck.

“The little bit of extra distance (six furlongs) might have suited her,” said O’Brien.

“She’s a very important filly now — a group winner with that pedigree. She could go to the Debutante, if we were going to try seven furlongs, but she’s not slow.”

Seamie Heffernan was aboard Sword Fighter, who completed O’Brien’s four-timer with victory in the Group 2 Curragh Cup.

As at Royal Ascot, the colt made all the running and stuck to his task admirably to see off stable companion Landofhopeandglory.

“He wants it, that little fella,” said O’Brien. “He’s very genuine, and stays well. He’s pure Galileo — he gets down, and gallops and gallops. He’ll have to have a little break now, and will come back for the Voltigeur or a Leger trial. That’s what he’s made for — an English Leger.”

He has been cut to 12-1, from 16s, for the Doncaster Classic.

There was a 50-1 winner of the opening juvenile maiden, but it wasn’t entirely surprising to connections after Alexios Komnenos’ impressive debut success.

The Choisir colt was ridden to challenge a furlong out, and pulled away nicely under Wayne Lordan to beat Inca Gold by three lengths.

Fozzy Stack, assistant trainer to his father, Tommy said: “I was just a bit worried about the ground, as he’s a really good mover. He’s quite a well-bred horse, and should get a mile no problem. He’s still a bit weak, so we’ll take our time with him.”

Sea Wolf (11-4f) was popular in the market prior to the Equisoft 25th Anniversary Handicap, and the gelding justified that support with a smooth success for Ger Lyons, who was recording his third victory of the meeting.

Having his first run for this stable, he was switched left to make his effort inside the final quarter of a mile, and ran on strongly to beat Club Wexford by three lengths.

The Andrew Slattery-trained Sors belied odds of 20-1 when taking the valuable Rockingham Handicap in the hands of young Cork rider Killian Leonard, while the Jim Bolger-trained Ringside Humour took over at the three-furlong mark and gave generously for Kevin Manning’s encouragement to land the closing 10-furlong handicap.

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