07/28/2016 1:56PM

Minding stands out in Nassau Stakes


Coolmore, trainer Aidan O’Brien, and jockey Ryan Moore won the first Group 1 of the Glorious Goodwood meeting when The Gurkha took down the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday, and the trio will be expected to win the only other Group 1 on the Goodwood menu this week, the Nassau on Saturday, with the filly Minding.

Where The Gurkha had at least one worthy opponent in Galileo Gold, whom he beat by a neck, Minding appears to stand in her own class Saturday. Minding is the odds-on favorite to beat just four rivals in the Nassau, which covers just less than 1 1/4 miles on turf forecast to be good to firm. None of her four rivals is proven at the highest level, while Minding has won five Group 1 races. As a 3-year-old, Minding carries 123 pounds, 10 fewer than older horses in the Nassau, but there is just one such runner, Beautiful Romance, as Swiss Jewel, Jemayel, and Queen’s Trust also are 3-year-olds.

Minding has never finished worse than second in her nine starts, and had she not suffered a shocking loss in the Irish 1000 Guineas, where she was beaten a head by an inferior rival named Jet Set, Minding would be on a six-race Group 1 winning streak. She caught soft ground in the Irish Guineas, and though she has won on wet going before, she probably doesn’t favor it, and staying on top of the surface Saturday only enhances her formidable status.

Minding stays 1 1/2 miles, as she showed in winning the English Oaks, but also has enough speed to match up with high-class milers. The Nassau distance should hit her sweet spot, and barring something entirely unforeseen, Minding will win again and continue what is turning into an epic 3-year-old campaign.

Post time for the Nassau is 10:10 a.m. Eastern.