Bookies favour 1,000 Guineas winner for Epsom Derby

Aidan O’Brien-trained Minder would be the first filly to win the classic race in a century

Ryan Moore rides Minding  to win the  1,000 Guineas Stakes. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Ryan Moore rides Minding to win the 1,000 Guineas Stakes. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

 

It has been a century since a filly won the Epsom Derby.

However, in a year of 1916 anniversaries, bookmakers are betting that Minding could pull off another notable racing milestone after leading home a 1-2-3 for trainer Aidan O’Brien in yesterday’s Qipco 1, 000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The 11-10 favourite had three and a half lengths in hand of Ballydoyle, with another stable companion, Alice Springs, in third, to give O’Brien a 250th Group 1 success in his stellar career.

The clean sweep of the fillies classic will have helped ease at least some of the sting from the flop of O’Brien’s odds-on favourite Air Force Blue in Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas, and so impressive was Minding under Ryan Moore that she was immediately installed at 5-2 ‘with a run’ to win the Derby.

Only six fillies have ever won racing’s most coveted classic and the last of them, Fifinella, came in 1916. The last to run in the Derby was Cape Verdi who started an 11-4 favourite in 1998 but could finish only ninth against the colts.

O’Brien already has the ante-post Derby favourite in US Army Ranger, and he is set to have just his second career start in Thursday’s Chester Vase.

Uncertain

But Ireland’s champion trainer briefly considered another top filly, Found, for last year’s Derby and the results of the upcoming trials may yet dictate whether or not Minding winds up being asked to pick up any slack for the Coolmore Stud boys at Epsom.

She is already odds on to be the first filly in a dozen years to complete the 1,000 Guineas-Oaks double at Epsom and looked an outstanding horse in giving both O’Brien and Moore their third victories each in the Newmarket classic.

“She’s out on her own really. She’s just faster than them and stays better than them,” said Moore, who paid tribute to the Irish trainer’s 250th Group 1 milestone. “His record is unbelievable and there’s no one better to get a horse ready for a top race.”

Glittering record

O’Brien himself initially indicated that Minding was likely to be kept to her own sex after gilding an already glittering record with a third Group 1 success of her own.

“All those things are open to her. She’d have the option of going back to an Irish Guineas and then an Oaks after that, but everyone will talk about it,” he said.

“It [Oaks] is very possible, but I don’t want to say it until we get home. We’ve always thought she’d stay.”

Minding’s part-owner Michael Tabor said yesterday no explanation had come to light for Air Force Blue’s 2,000 Guineas eclipse after the 4-5 favourite beat just one horse home.

The race was won by Galileo Gold, who scored at 14-1 for Frankie Dettori.

The Derby is under consideration next for the Qatari owned colt.

“If you forced me to make a call now I’d say that for Epsom you need a top class horse and I think Galileo Gold is top class,” Dettori reported.

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