Safe Voyage one of the big hopes as Yorkshire trainers target Breeders’ Cup

Three Yorkshire trainers have their eyes on a first Breeders’ Cup success at Keeeneland this weekend.

John Quinn, Kevin Ryan and Nigel Tinkler fly the flag for the white rose county in the United States’ biggest racing Festival.

Quinn unleashes his fine stable stalwart Safe Voyage in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile on Saturday.

The seven-year-old is a dual Group Two winner this season and was a close third in the Prix de la Foret on his latest start.

John Quinn has high hopes for Safe Voyage
John Quinn has high hopes for Safe Voyage (Edward Whitaker/PA)

The Settrington trainer revealed he has had this race mind for some time.

He said: “Early in the spring, we thought the Breeders’ Cup could suit Safe Voyage. He’s got some very good form going left-handed.

“His best form before this season was over seven furlongs, but he then won and dug deep when he won over a mile at Leopardstown, so the mile at Keeneland will hold no fears for him.”

“He finished third in the Qatar Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp last time and has been in good form since that race at the start of October. He’s come out of that race well.”

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Having a first Breeders’ Cup runner is a dream come true for Quinn – and Safe Voyage is not going to just make up the numbers.

“This is our first Breeders’ Cup runner and it’s wonderful for us. We’ve been training a long time and he has a live chance. It’s something we all aspire to.”

Glass Slippers, Ryan’s contender for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, was also in action at ParisLongchamp where she was second in her bid to win the Prix de l’Abbaye for the second year running.

The four-year-old filly gained her place when winning the ‘Win and You’re In’ Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

Ryan’s first Breeders’ Cup runner was East, who was second to Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2018.

Kevin Ryan relies on Glass Slippers in the Breeders' Cup Sprint
Kevin Ryan relies on Glass Slippers in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (John Walton/PA)

“The Breeders’ Cup has been on our mind all season. She won the ‘Win and You’re In’ race at the Curragh and also ran well in the Abbaye from a bad draw,” said the Hambleton handler.

Ryan would not mind some rain in Kentucky this week for his filly. He said: “She’s very versatile as far as the ground is concerned, but I think she is a better filly with some cut in the ground.”

Tinkler has faith in Ubettabelieveit, who heads to the Juvenile Turf Sprint on Friday with a progressive profile.

The Kodiac colt burst on the scene when winning the Listed National Stakes at Sandown in July and improved on that to lift the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster in September. His only blip was in the Gimcrack Stakes at York that was run in testing conditions.

“I think he’s definitely improving. I think he’s better now than when he ran at Doncaster,” said the Malton handler.

“We then took him to Sandown where he ran very impressively and won very easily again. We then took him to York for the Gimcrack, which is over six furlongs.

“The ground was soft, bordering on heavy. He just didn’t like it – he ran too keen. Fortunately, the jockey was quite lenient with the horse, and gave him a very easy race, and he bounced back well to win the Flying Childers at Doncaster.”

On ground conditions at Keeneland, Tinkler is hoping for no more rain.

“At the moment I think the ground is fine. It does drain very well at Keeneland apparently, but soft ground would be a concern,” he said.

Nigel Tinkler feels Ubettabelieveit is improving
Nigel Tinkler feels Ubettabelieveit is improving (Steve Davies/PA)

It will also be a landmark day for the young jockey Rowan Scott who will keep the ride on Ubettabelieveit.

Tinkler said: “Rowan Scott, who rode him when he won the Flying Childers, will keep the ride. He’s a good lad.

“Nothing really phases him, so I don’t think the occasion will be a big thing for him. He’s very level-headed and he’s young. I don’t have any qualms about putting him on.”

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