/ Racing

Flying Jib finishes down the field as Minorette takes Belmont Oaks honours

Updated: Sunday, 06 Jul 2014 10:13 | Comments

Flying Jib, seen here with Kevin Manning on board at Newbridge in May, disappointed on her Grade One debut
Flying Jib, seen here with Kevin Manning on board at Newbridge in May, disappointed on her Grade One debut

Dermot Weld's Flying Jib and Aidan O'Brien's Wonderfully finished down the field as former O'Brien inmate Minorette claimed top honours in Saturday's Belmont Oaks.

Flying Jib headed for New York with strong claims having completed a hat-trick in the Athasi Stakes at the Curragh in early May, but she finished a disappointing eighth on her Grade One debut in the hands of Pat Smullen.

Wonderfully, making her seventh successive appearance at the highest level, fared a little better in fifth under Colm O'Donoghue, but was ultimately no match for her former stable companion.

Minorette, who remains under the ownership of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and John Magnier, won a Naas maiden on her racecourse debut last July, but failed to make an impact in three subsequent appearances at stakes level in Ireland.

Having made an encouraging American debut at Belmont at the end of May, the daughter of Smart Strike showed potent acceleration in the hands of Joel Rosario to clinch Grade One glory for trainer Chad Brown.

"She was really training big coming into this race. We were pretty confident she'd give a good showing of herself in here," Brown told www.bloodhorse.com.

"The more I got to train her, even before we first ran her, she just moved and looked like a mile and a quarter horse. Her pedigree wouldn't deter you from that, either. We just took our time with her.

"I tell you, the Coolmore group is a wonderful organisation to train for. They never told me where to run, when to run.

"After the race at Keeneland at a mile when she was closing pretty good and got a good number out of the race, I immediately circled this big one and said, 'Let's just go for it'.

"I gave her a local prep and it worked, because that's what preps are for. She got a run over the course, and the jock got to know her. When the money counted today, he rode her perfect."

American-based Frenchman Christophe Clement saddled Sea Queen and Summer Solo to finish second and third respectively.

Francois Doumen's French challenger Xcellence, previously placed in the French 1000 Guineas and Oaks, ran a respectable race in fourth.

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