Safe Voyage is unlikely to defend his crown in the Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile at Leopardstown.
John Quinn’s stable stalwart bagged his third Group-race victory on Irish Champions Weekend last season, before going on to finish a close third in the Prix de la Foret and then run at the Breeders’ Cup.
The eight-year-old opened his account for the current campaign in a Listed event at Chester in July, since when he has finished last in Goodwood’s Lennox Stakes and fifth in the City of York Stakes.
Safe Voyage has the option of returning to Ireland this weekend, but the prospect of fast ground means he is a doubtful runner there on Saturday
“The ground is very quick over there, so I don’t think Safe Voyage will be going,” said Quinn.
The Malton handler could still be represented on Irish Champions Weekend, with Keep Busy pencilled in for Sunday’s Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.
Her stablemate Liberty Beach will not be joining her in the same Group One contest, however.
“Keep Busy might run in the Flying Five,” Quinn added.
“Liberty Beach won’t go – I think she might have had enough for the year.
“She’s had a hard enough season. It’s not set in stone yet, but she won’t go for the Flying Five – and we’ll see after that.”
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Keep Busy could have her first six-furlong outing in over a year in Sunday’s EBF Stallions Highfield Farm Flying Fillies’ Stakes at Pontefract.
The John Quinn-trained four-year-old has run some good races in top company this season, as well as winning a Listed race at Ayr.
She finished fifth in the King George Stakes at Goodwood last time out when Quinn felt she was a little outpaced, so he is looking at options over further.
“We’re toying with the idea of running on Sunday,” said Quinn.
“She’s running really well at the moment but she’s just getting run off her legs over five furlongs on these quick tracks.
“She won over six twice as a two-year-old and won a Listed race over five and a half. I think she’s versatile but on these quick tracks they just get her at it, so we are thinking about Sunday.
“The winner at Goodwood is probably very, very good but I think they took each other on up front and then got into a battle. We decided to hold Liberty Beach up for a chance but then she got squeezed and a furlong out I thought Keep Busy was really going to do something, but then the pendulum swung right round to the stands side who looked massively favoured in the last 100 yards.
“So while the French filly (Suesa) is possibly very, very good, she could have been flattered as it was a funny race.
“We were delighted with Keep Busy, though, she ran well, but we’re thinking of stepping her up in trip.”
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John Quinn is to consider two contrasting targets for Highland Princess after the filly continued her progression with victory in a Listed contest at Chelmsford.
The four-year-old is likely to go for one of her two early-closing entries over seven furlongs, either the hurly burly of the Moet & Chandon International Heritage Handicap at Ascot on July 24 or the Group Two Sky Bet City of York Stakes at York on August 21.
Highland Princess burst on to the scene when taking the Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot – and followed up with a game all-the-way win in the Queen Charlotte Fillies’ Stakes on Sunday.
“She’s a very tough genuine filly. I’m delighted with her,” said Quinn.
“She’s in the big handicap at Ascot and she’s also in a Group Two at York. We’ll see. I haven’t really thought about it yet.”
Quinn revealed his two smart sprinters, Keep Busy and Liberty Beach, could go for the Group Two Paddy Power Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh on July 17.
Keep Buy has run twice since they finished fifth and sixth respectively behind Oxted in the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting.
After landing a Listed prize at Ayr seven days later, Keep Busy reappeared in the Coral Charge at Sandown on Saturday, but was slowly away and suffered trouble in running. She eventually finished seventh behind Came From The Dark.
“Something kicked off in the gates near her and she missed the break. Then she got stuck down the inside,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.
“It just didn’t happen, but she’s fine and she’ll go for the Sapphire at the Curragh.
“Liberty Beach is very well. The two of them might run in the same race.”
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Keep Busy emulated her dam with victory in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr.
John Quinn’s four-year-old was dropping down in class, having run consistently well at Group One and Two level in her last four starts but without a victory since her last trip to Scotland at Hamilton in August.
Keep Busy, a Group One runner-up at the Curragh last year and back in action quickly after her admirable close fifth as a 50-1 shot in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, was sent off the 4-7 favourite this time to gain a deserved fifth career success and second at Listed level.
She duly did so with the minimum fuss, following the example set by her mother Look Busy – who won this race by a short head back in 2008.
Ridden by Jason Hart, Keep Busy was not quite so hard-pressed to make her class tell – striking from off the pace a furlong out, after being positioned in midfield early on, and quickly confirming her superiority to win by three-quarters of a length from Irish challenger Dickiedooda.
Mid Winster, prominent throughout, just held on for third half a length further back.
Quinn was delighted to see Keep Busy win for the first time in seven starts – and confirmed she will soon be going back up in class again.
“She did it well – she was going away at the line,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.
“It’s only seven days after Royal Ascot, so I’m delighted.
“I’ll give her a little chance now for a while. But she does thrive on racing – the more I ran her as a two-year-old the better she was, then last year she only started running in June and then ran nine times.”
A return to the Curragh for the Group Two Sapphire Stakes is therefore on Keep Busy’s agenda – with high-profile dates at Goodwood, York and ParisLongchamp all possibly in the diary for her later in the season.
“She does like racing,” added Quinn.
“Her mum was supremely tough, and this one is the same.
“That said, there’s only so much for her. But there’s the Sapphire at the Curragh, the Group Two in about three weeks.
“That would be the plan, and then back for the Group Ones she ran well in last year – I put her in at Goodwood (King George Stakes) this morning, and the Nunthorpe, and she’ll be entered in the Abbaye.
“But I’d say the Curragh (next), all being well, would fit nicely.”
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King’s Stand Stakes fifth Keep Busy makes a quick reappearance in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr on Tuesday.
The four-year-old was sent off a 50-1 chance in the Group One sprint won by Roger Teal’s Oxted, but finished one place in front of better-fancied stablemate Liberty Beach, who had landed the Temple Stakes at Haydock in which Keep Busy was only fifth.
The John Quinn-trained pair will have all the major five-furlong races for the rest of the season on their agendas.
“Keep Busy came out of the King’s Stand fine, so we’re happy to let her take her chance,” said the Malton handler.
“It looks a good opportunity, she’s well, so now I just hope she wins.
“Keep Busy always improves for her first run of the season and she did again, that’s her, she’s tough so we’re happy to run her again.”
As for plans for the rest of the season for the duo, Quinn said: “The two of them are in the Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh (July 17), they’ll be put in the King George at Goodwood and in the Nunthorpe.
“They are both proper five-furlong fillies and they beat all the other fillies well at Ascot. With a bit of luck they’ll win a Group One this season.”
John Quinn is set to be two-handed in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes with Liberty Beach and Keep Busy lining up at Royal Ascot.
Both horses ran with great credit at the meeting in last summer with Liberty Beach finishing third behind Battaash in the Group One, while Keep Busy was runner-up to Art Power in the five-furlong handicap for three-year-olds.
The pair clashed on their seasonal reappearance in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last month, with Liberty Beach taking the Group Two prize and Keep Busy finishing fifth.
Quinn was pleased with the pair and is looking forward to seeing them bid for Group One honours.
“They are working well. I’m very happy with them. They’ve come out of Haydock well.” said the North Yorkshire handler.
“You could see with Keep Busy the run wasn’t lost on her. That was her usual. It’s her style.
“Liberty Beach has come on as well. Both will turn up.”
Quinn has a choice of races for his unbeaten two-year-old Tipperary Sunset – Wednesday’s Windsor Castle Stakes and the Norfolk Stakes on Thursday.
The son of Ardad looked smart when adding the Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy at Beverley to his debut success at Hamilton.
“We’ve put him in the Windsor Castle and we’re going to put him in the Norfolk,” he said.
“He’s come out of Beverley really well and I intend to run him in one or the other.”
Quinn has Frankenstella in the Ascot Stakes, but the four-year-old filly is not certain to make the cut and ground conditions might not be in her favour.
“She might not get in and she might need rain to run. We’ll keep a good eye on everything,” he said.
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John Quinn finds it hard to split his speedy fillies Keep Busy and Liberty Beach, who will do battle in the Casumo Best Odds Guaranteed Temple Stakes at Haydock.
The stablemates have the same rating of 109, and the score is one each on their two meetings in Group Ones last year.
Keep Busy was two and a half lengths in front of Liberty Beach when they were second and seventh to Glass Slippers in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh in September.
The tables were turned the following month, with Liberty Beach third behind Wooded in the Prix de l’Abbaye and Keep Busy a length and a half away in fifth.
Quinn is anticipating a tight rematch in Saturday’s Group Two.
“I’m happy with them,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.
“They are fit and they are well. Their prep has gone well, and we’re hoping for a bit of luck.
“Keep Busy has won on very soft ground, and Liberty Beach has won on soft ground as well. They both go on it.
“I hope they’ve got good chances. A dead-heat will do me.”
The in-form Jabbarockie will try to bridge the gap between handicaps and group company when he steps up in class at the age of eight.
Preston trainer Eric Alston accepts his horse faces a stern test, but Jabbarockie has won competitive sprint handicaps at Chester and Musselburgh on his two starts this season.
“He’s in great form with himself, but it’s going to be a tough ask,” said Alston.
“The owners are all local, and we had the choice of going to York or Haydock, and they wanted to go and have their big day.
“He’s very genuine, and hopefully it will work out for him.”
Martyn Meade is looking forward to finally getting Method out, in the Casumo Bet100Get10 Sandy Lane Stakes.
The highly-regarded three-year-old sprinter is back to full health after missing his intended seasonal debut in the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot last month.
“It will obviously be his first run of the year. We were going to run him earlier, but he was just not 100 per cent – he is now, so we will see how he performs there,” he said.
“If he runs well there, then we will be targeting the Commonwealth Cup. That will be the idea for him.
“Five furlongs was too short for him when he was beaten at Newmarket on his last start. As long as he reproduces his two-year-old form, he should be OK. You need a decent race to see how good he is.”
Umm Kulthum reverts to six furlongs after weakening in the closing stages when unplaced in the Fred Darling Stakes over seven at Newbury last month.
Richard Fahey reports the daughter of Kodiac, who won the Group Three Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr and was a close third in the Group One Cheveley Park, to be ready to return to the fray.
“We’re happy enough with her. It’s a tough race but we’ll know where we are,” said the Musley Bank trainer.
“You’d imagine the drop back to six will help her. It will be a good guide for her.”
Archie Watson’s Dragon Symbol steps up markedly in class after winning all his four starts to date.
“He has done everything right so far this year and he answered everything that we have asked of him since his debut on the all-weather,” said Watson.
“He is going back up to six furlongs, and we are hopeful that he will handle the softer ground up there – because the ground was quick last time out at Musselburgh.
“This is a big step up in class, and it should give us an idea of where we are with him.”
Proven group performers The Lir Jet, Mujbar, Rohaan and Isabella Giles are among those in the 10-runner line-up.
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John Quinn was proud of his three runners who put up admirable performances in defeat in two of the Group One races at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
Liberty Beach and Keep Busy finished third and fifth respectively in the Prix de l’Abbaye, while Safe Voyage was third in the Prix de la Foret.
For a moment, the North Yorkshire trainer thought Liberty Beach might lift the big sprint prize in the hands of Frankie Dettori, only to go down by half a length behind Wooded, with Keep Busy sticking on well to be beaten two lengths in all.
“They ran very well. Liberty Beach ran great. It looked like maybe she was going to do it, she just got beat, but she ran really well,” said Quinn.
“Keep Busy was flat out, but finished well. She ran a good race and wasn’t beaten far.”
Safe Voyage put in good late work behind One Master and Earthlight, beaten half a length as the winner sealed a record hat-trick of victories in the Foret.
“It looked like they were going to get away from him, but he battled back and was nearly going to get up, but the winning post came too soon,” the trainer said.
Quinn is no rush to make plans for the trio, adding: “We’ll let the dust settle before deciding what we do with them.”
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