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We checked in with Sean Quinn, assistant trainer to father John, ahead of their star veteran’s Listed assignment at York on Saturday. The yard is enjoying a bright spell and have some big-race firepower to look forward to in the weeks to come.

El Astronaute as game as ever

El Astronaute may be quickly rising to the age of eight, but John Quinn’s superb seven-year-old veteran is showing no signs of slowing down. He returned to duty with an excellent victory at Doncaster last month and on Saturday the old boy bids to follow up in a quality contest at York, a place we know he likes.

Assistant trainer, Sean Quinn, couldn’t be happier with him ahead of the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes at 3:05pm: “He turned up again at Donny and wore his heart on his sleeve. He led them a merry dance and, typical of him, he found a bit more where it was needed.

“This is a well up-to-scratch Listed race and he has to carry a penalty, but he’s in good form and we’re looking forward to it. He’s a pleasure to have around the yard.”

Keep Busy won't be far away

Looking ahead to Sunday, Quinn is quietly positive about the chances of Keep Busy in the 3:05 Summer Fillies’ Stakes on the Knavesmire: “She’s going the right way. You’ll remember her mother (Look Busy) was as tough as nails and this filly is the same. She’s a diamond to deal with, she just eats, sleeps and works and tries her heart out when she gets to the track.”

Keep Busy has been knocking on the door of landing a nice prize. This is a competitive contest, but this daughter of Night Of Thunder has a wonderful pedigree and is unlikely to be far away.

A trip abroad could be on the cards for Safe Voyage

It is a very busy, challenging and exciting time for John Quinn, a man well versed in success Quiunder both codes. At the Derby meeting just gone, his super-smart Group performer Safe Voyage returned to form with a deserved win in a good renewal of the Surrey Stakes. 

He might just be a shade shy of Group 1 level, but he’s rock solid and it won’t stop connections campaigning this horse in the best of company: “You have the Lennox at Goodwood and another option at the Ebor meeting for Safe Voyage. If the ground is good or easier at either of those venues, they’d look like logical targets for him,” said Quinn.

Going forward, there are few fears of travelling abroad with Safe Voyage, which would open up some interesting options. He added: “When conditions come right for him, somewhere across the world, he could win his Group 1. We may have to think outside the box and he’s a good traveller. We have an eye on options in Europe and, of course, America.”

Asking about their pocket rocket Liberty Beach, her plan remains fairly straightforward: “She’ll go for the Group 2 over five furlongs at Goodwood and, from there, the Nunthorpe at York is the logical route to go down provided the filly is well.”


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