Qatar Nassau Stakes
|Group 1, Goodwood 15:10
Fillies & Mares, 3yo plus,
1m 1f 192y, Class 1
|Saturday 30th July 2016|
1 Minding 1/5F
2 Queen's Trust 16/1
3 Jemayel 16/1
5 ran Distances: 1¼l, 1¼l, 6l
TIME 2m 5.05s (slow by 2.05s)
Minding wins her fourth Group One of the year
Star filly Minding, the world's joint best-three-year-old filly beforehand, secured her sixth Group One success in the Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes, the feature race on day five of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and Europe's richest race for fillies and mares.
]Trained by Aidan O'Brien, who was recording his third success in the race (Peeping Fawn 2007 and Halfway To Heaven 2008) and ridden by Ryan Moore, the daughter of Galileo travelled well throughout the one mile and two furlong contest but met slight trouble in the straight after being snatched up and dropping to last.
However, Minding showed her star quality to grind out victory after taking up the lead. Whilst O'Brien's charge did not show an instant turn of foot, the 1/5 favourite found plenty all the way to the line to record a workmanlike success by a length and a quarter from Queen's Trust .
A delighted O'Brien registering his fourth success of the week, said: "She was very well coming into the race. We were happy with her at home. We knew it was going to be a small field today and that it was going to be tactical. It was rough enough for her but Ryan negotiated it brilliantly and got through it.
"Hopefully, she'll be fine and OK after the race. I was nervous watching it and a lot of things can happen and race riding can be dangerous at the best of times at the speed they're going but we had the right outcome today.
"She is a great traveller, she quickens very well, she stays very well. She looks after herself when she gets to the front. She is thriving and she has a great mind. She is an unusual filly who can cruise, relax and quicken. She has always been a big powerful filly but physically she is doing very well. She was big, strong and powerful today."
O'Brien would not be drawn on future targets for the filly who looks to have plenty of different possibilities. He remarked: "I'm not sure what the lads will do with her now but she can go down plenty of different ways from now. They'll probably decide in a week or so but she has plenty of options. She is getting a lot of experience. They're not all big fields she is running in but any field can be rough so she is learning and getting experience all the time.
"The lads will have to make their minds up about where to go next. Obviously, she has the choice of York, Leopardstown, and some of those races. She can have a rest and maybe go to France, so she has a lot of options open to her now.
"She is very versatile. A mile, a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half - it all seems to come alike to her. We were a little bit worried about the small field today. It can get tactical and messy but Ryan handled it great and worked it out great. We are delighted.
"The great thing about her is that she conserves herself now because she has become very professional. She knows when she is asked to go and only does what she has to do. She is very professional, which is marvellous and what you look for in a horse.
"The amazing thing about her is that she is probably ready to go most roads now. Hopefully, she will come home well from today and we will see how she is then but she is ready to go into most slots now.
"She doesn't have to take on the colts if the lads decide not to but she can step into different company now if she wants. It's great to have her and it's great that she doesn't mind running often. It's great to be able to see her out so often.
"This is a great filly. She has danced every dance. She was special as a two-year-old, won well in the 1000 Guineas and has kept on progressing. She gets a mile and a quarter very well but when she gets there, she doesn't do much more so it is difficult to assess her."
Asked about the possibility of Minding staying in training, O'Brien was very open to the idea. He said: "The lads love their racing and I imagine if she is well there would be a chance. Everyone gets a lot of enjoyment out of her. I think there is a good chance."
Qatar Nassau Stakes
(British Champions Series)
£600,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 1f 192y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(1)||Minding (IRE) 1/5f||R L Moore
|A P O'Brien||3|
|2nd||(5)||1¼||Queen's Trust 16/1||James McDonald
|Sir Michael Stoute||3|
|3rd||(2)||1¼||Jemayel (IRE) 16/1||G Benoist
|J C Rouget||3|
|4th||(3)||6||Swiss Range 7/1||L Dettori
|J H M Gosden||3|
|5th||(4)||11||Beautiful Romance 12/1||James Doyle
|S bin Suroor||4|
MINDING WINS, BUT WORTH PUTTING FUTURE TRUST IN QUEEN'S
The day's certainty duly proved so, but Minding - 1/5 favourite for the Qatar Nassau Stakes - had to work hard to master runner-up Queen's Trust.
A 16/1 chance, Queen's Trust, who was ridden by James McDonald, went down fighting by a length and a quarter, with the same distance back to third-placed Jemayel.
The runner-up is owned and was bred by David and Patricia Thompson's Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket, and is trained near her birthplace by Sir Michael Stoute. Chris Richardson, a director of Cheveley Park Stud, was not surprised by the performance of three-year-old Queen's Trust, and said: "She's run a fantastic race - we've always believed in her and Sir Michael always knew she had a huge amount of class, natural ability and talent, and she was unlucky last year in the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket and again on two occasions this year.
"Last time in the Ribblesdale Stakes [at Royal Ascot] she was an awfully long way back turning for home, but we knew from that she stayed today's trip and will stay further. The quicker ground may have helped, but she has talent, and there is no one better than Sir Michael with these sort of fillies. He said after the Ribblesdale let's go for the Nassau - okay, we had Minding to beat but let's take her on."
Harry Herbert, representing Al Shaqab Racing, was similarly fulsome in praise of Jemayel, who could not get to the first two, but stayed on honourably for the stable of Jean-Claude Rouget.
Herbert said: "She's run an absolute blinder. We didn't come here expecting to beat Minding, but it's such a prestigious race with such wonderful prize money, and so we came hoping to get second or third and she's done that. It's a bonus for us that she's already won a Group One race this season, and she was quite badly interfered with at a critical time in the Prix de Diane last time out.
"She ran on again because she's a brave filly, and could have been closer, so Jean-Claude felt this was the right next race for her. We guessed Minding would frighten a few off and a third to her today looks good for her CV. She's such a game filly and she has proved she's up to running in this class."