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Irish Derby Festival: Minding has Pretty Polly at her mercy

| 26.06.2016

David Metcalf | June 25, 2016

Minding can stroll to Pretty Polly success

Dual Classic winner Minding looks a cut-above her rivals and impossible to oppose in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes on the final day of the Irish Derby Festival at the Curragh (16:20).

The Aidan O’Brien trained filly was a top-class juvenile who kicked off the campaign with an impressive success in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

After pressing the leaders, Minding took up the running two from home and pulled readily clear in the hands of Ryan Moore to beat Ballydoyle with far more in hand than the winning margin of 3 1/2 lengths suggests.

It was performance right out of the top drawer, and Minding travelled strongly throughout and was always in total control.

Shock defeat in Irish Guineas


The daughter of Galileo was sent off long odds-on to follow-up in the Irish equivalent, but banged her head leaving the stalls and found Jet Setting a head to good for her.

In the circumstances it was a solid effort, and the pair pulled miles clear of the field to give the form a solid look.

Had things gone right at the start, then Minding may well have come out on top, and she has since gone on to land the Investec Oaks in scintillating style.

Ultra-impressive at Epsom

Epsom Friday

Minding encountered all sort of trouble in-running at Epsom and nearly got knocked over at one stage, but recovered to scythe through the field and quicken smartly to beat Architecture be a neck.

It was a display of a superstar, and Minding’s official rating of 120 gives her 7lb and upwards on her rivals.

The drop back to 1m 2f will also suit, and this looks Minding’s for the taking.

Koora the forecast choice

Koora shaped well on seasonal reappearance and looks the most likely one to chase home Minding.


The Luca Cumani trained filly showed progressive form throughout last season when winning two of her six starts, rounding off the campaign with a career-best effort when landing the Group 3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury.

Koora travelled strongly throughout on the heels of the leaders, and after being produced to lead at the furlong marker on had to be driven out by jockey Jamie Spencer to comfortably beat Melodius by 1 1/2 lengths.

The manner of the success suggested that Koora needed keeping firmly onside, and that view was confirmed when Koora chased home Beautiful Romance in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York last month.

Koora is sure to strip much fitter for that outing and, with the stable in good form, looks up to making an impact at this level.


You’ll find more Irish Derby Festival tips on our Curragh page.

Coral’s top tip: Minding looks in a different league to her rivals and is impossible to oppose. Koora is a likeable sort and can chase her home.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.