Oh so easy for majestic Minding in the Mooresbridge
Minding disposed of her three rivals with the minimum of fuss in the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas on Monday and will now return to the top table, with the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 28 her likely next target.
The seven-time Group 1 winner, who was named Cartier Horse of the Year for 2016, made most of the running under Ryan Moore at Naas, and needed only hands and heels riding to score by three and a half lengths, providing trainer Aidan O'Brien with his ninth victory in the Mooresbridge.
O'Brien said: "You'd have to be very pleased with that performance. Minding has done very well physically since last year and remains very enthusiastic.
"She's a great filly and what she did last year was incredible, winning five Group 1s from a mile to a mile and a half and finishing off by dropping back to a mile to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
"It was always the plan to race her again this year and we're delighted to have got her season started."
Regarding the next step, O'Brien said: "I'd imagine the Tattersalls Gold Cup will probably be her next race, although there is also the Lockinge at Newbury to consider.
"We'll take one race at a time but, all going well, the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot will be on her schedule."
Minding's odds for the Lockinge, on May 20, vary wildly, from 3-1 co-favourite with bet365 to 10-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook, while she is 4-7 with Paddy Power for the Tattersalls Gold Cup on May 28. She is a best-priced 5-2 favourite with William Hill for the Prince of Wales's on June 21.
Last year's Arc winner Found – also trained by O'Brien – achieved her first success of the season in the Mooresbridge, and Minding is quoted at between 7-1 and 10-1 for the Qatar-sponsored showpiece at Chantilly on October 1.
The Jim Bolger-trained Moonlight Magic chased Minding home, with Brendan Brackan two lengths further adrift in third.