10/15/2016 12:08PM

Minding gets fifth Group 1 win of 2016 in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes


Minding completed a remarkable 3-year-old season with a fifth Group 1 win of the year in Saturday’s $1.4 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot Racecourse in England, her first win against older horses this year.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at a mile was the second-richest race on a six-race Ascot program that included three other Group 1 stakes.

Minding, ridden by Ryan Moore for trainer Aidan O’Brien, was the 7-4 favorite in a field of 13 and one of two 3-year-old fillies in the field. Moore kept Minding near the front throughout, took the lead with a quarter-mile remaining and was fully extended to win by a half-length over Ribchester, the winner of the Group 1 Jacques Le Marois for milers in France in August.

Minding won Group 1 races from a mile to 1 1/2 miles from May to October. She won the English 1000 Guineas in May, the English Oaks and the Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland in June, and the Nassau Stakes in England in July. The Pretty Polly and Nassau stakes were against older fillies and mares.

By Galileo, Minding was third behind Almanzor in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Sept. 10. Almanzor won the Group 1 British Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, the day’s richest race.

“It’s unbelievable,” O’Brien said. “She’s an incredible filly. She’s won at the top level at a mile, mile and a quarter, and a mile and a half, and then to bring her back down in trip to win an all-aged mile race, they have to be very special.”

Minding races for Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor. A winner of 8 of 12 starts in her career, Minding is unlikely to start again this year but could stay in training in 2017, O’Brien said. Minding won two Group 1 races at 2 in 2015.

In other group stakes at Ascot on Saturday, The Tin Man won the $730,800 British Champions Sprint Stakes, Journey won the $730,800 Filly and Mare Stakes, and Sheikzayedroad won the $426,300 Long Distance Cup.

The Tin Man, a 4-year-old British-bred gelding by Equiano, won his third stakes of the year and his first in a Group 1 in the six-furlong Sprint.

Ridden by Tom Queally, The Tin Man closed from the rear of a 13-horse field to take the lead in the final sixteenth and win by a length over 50-1 Growl. The Tin Man is trained by James Fanshawe for the Fred Archer Syndicate, a partnership with two horses in training.

A winner of 6 of 11 starts, The Tin Man was fourth in the 2015 British Champions Sprint.

Journey gave trainer John Gosden his first Group 1 win in more than a year in the Filly and Mare Stakes. Owned by American George Strawbridge, Journey (4-1) won the Filly and Mare Stakes at 1 1/2 miles by four lengths over 14-1 Speedy Boarding, the winner of the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera at Chantilly Racecourse in France on Oct. 2.

Seventh Heaven, the 5-4 favorite, had a troubled trip early and finished fifth of 13.

Frankie Dettori rode Journey, who was second in the 2015 Filly and Mare Stakes. Journey, a 4-year-old filly by Dubawi, has won five stakes and 6 of 13 starts in her career.

Sheikhzayedroad won the day’s first race in the Long Distance Cup at two miles. An 11-1 shot in a field of 10, Sheikhzayedroad stalked the early pace, led in the final furlong, and won by a half-length over 9-1 Quest for More.  Order of St George, third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on Oct. 2, was fourth as the 4-6 favorite, beaten 1 1/2 lengths.

Sheikhzayedroad was ridden by Martin Harley for David Simcock. A 7-year-old gelding by Dubawi, Sheikhzayedroad won the won the Group 2 Doncaster Cup at 2 1/4 miles at Doncaster Racecourse on Sept. 9. He won the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine in 2014.

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