Minding landed a sensational seventh Group 1 when powering clear inside the final furlong and then hanging on from a determined Ribchester to become the first filly since 1987 to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The three-year-old filly finished third when taking on the boys for the first time in the Irish Champion Stakes last month, however her male counterparts could do nothing to stop her on Champions Day, as she hit the front some way from home and clung on to win.
Having proved adaptable over various trips, Aidan O’Brien returned the filly to a mile for the first time since just losing out in the Irish 1,000 Guineas in May, and Ryan Moore settled his mount splitting Ribchester from his pacemaker Barchan in the early stages.
The field split in two as Minding’s Irish 1,000 Guineas conqueror Jet Setting led the nearside, however the far side proved the place to be as Lightning Spear rounded off the placings in third.
Winning jockey Moore, said: “I’m really delighted with her today. It’s some performance. She was great in the Guineas and she’s had a hard year, but Aidan has just freshened her up and brought her back to a mile. It’s some achievement to see off the colts there. She’s done it the hard way and was just too good for them, too strong.
“I was taking her back the first half of the race. She’s loads of pace and masses of talent.”
“She’s an incredible filly,” said her trainer, Aidan O’Brien.
“The last day she worked Seamie [Heffernan] got off her and said he couldn’t believe the work. It’s a big team effort and I can’t say how delighted I am for everyone.
“She’s a great filly – a mile, mile and a quarter, mile and a half, then to bring her back for an all-age mile race, they have to be very special to do those things. I can’t say how happy we are.”
No decision has yet been taken by owners Coolmore as to whether the star filly will continue to race in her fourth year, however the victory kept them in the hunt to be crowned champion owners.
“I imagine that’s it for her now [this season],” added O’Brien. “That was kind of the plan to come here and then maybe the lads [owners Michael Tabor, John Magnier and Derrick Smith] will think about bringing her back next year.”