Monday 11 December 2017

Minding leaves for Coolmore as injury forces retirement

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Aidan O'Brien has hailed the "very special" Minding as one of the best fillies he has trained after injury finally compelled connections to send her away from Ballydoyle for probably the last time yesterday.

The daughter of Galileo ran 13 times, winning nine - including seven Group Ones. As a three-year-old, her victories included the Newmarket Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Pretty Polly against her elders.

Seemingly as good as if not better than ever at four, having cruised to victory on her seasonal return, she would never race again. "Unfortunately, she sustained a pastern injury," said the trainer, referring to the area of a horse between the fetlock and the top of the hoof.

"She was very unique, the way she could win Classics both over a mile and 12 furlongs, as well as Group Ones in between those distances. To do that as a three-year-old is incredible but we felt she had actually physically progressed from three to four and she was as enthusiastic as ever. "She was a home-bred, physically very imposing and very sound to take all of that racing. The way she was named by Sue (Magnier) turned out to be brilliant as she has the most incredible mind: nothing ever fazed her, how often she ran and over different trips.

"And on the same day we retired, it was lovely to see her full sister start off her own career at Leopardstown."

On the day of Minding's retirement, her sister Conquest made a pleasing start when fifth to stablemate Easter Lily (2/1f) last evening.

Quickened

"She quickened well and just idled a bit in front. She's a little bit on it at home but feels like a filly that will stay a mile this year if she relaxes. If she does things right I think she will be a lovely filly," said winning rider Donnacha O'Brien.

The big race, the €100,000 Nasrullah Handicap, went to Tandem, a hugely encouraging winner for Dermot Weld given that he has been on an extremely lean run. The 12/1 chance was ridden by stable pilot Pat Smullen.

"It's hard to believe he won the same race four years ago," said Weld, who says the horse may go to Galway for the Festival.

Meanwhile, owner Joseph Logan has had his appeal against the Turf Club's judgement that he broke the rules in the long-running Like A Diamond case dismissed on appeal.

The Turf Club found that the horse was training at an establishment other than where it was stated on the racecard before the horse's intended debut in 2013.

Shane Foley successfully appealed the seven-day suspension imposed on him at Fairyhouse recently, getting it reduced to five. The stewards interviewed Foley in relation to his conduct at the start where he appeared to strike his mount Weightfordave prior to being loaded into stalls.

The Denis Hogan-trained Meadow Cross was suspended from racing for 42 days after she finished fourth in a maiden at Down Royal of late and Hogan's appeal was unsuccessful.

Irish Independent

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