Last Updated: 10/06/19 7:56am
A review of the weekend's action which saw John Quinn claim a notable double as Royal Ascot looms large.
A quiet weekend on the racing front sandwiched between the Derby meeting and Royal Ascot ended up being a memorable one for John Quinn.
The softly-spoken Malton handler is never one to shout about his own achievements - but he has quietly been one of the best dual-purpose handlers of the past 15 years.
On a rainy day in Haydock, Safe Voyage, now safely established as a course specialist, cruised through to win the Group Three Betway John of Gaunt Stakes in stylish fashion.
It took his record at the Merseyside venue to four from four and Glorious Goodwood is next on the horizon.
"He's a nice horse, this. We thought he was the real deal as a two-year-old, but he fractured his pelvis when he made his debut at Pontefract," said Quinn.
"That was a shame, but anyway he's making up for lost time and he's improved again.
"He's better with a cut in the ground, but he doesn't need it this soft. The great thing is he goes through it when so many don't.
"The Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and the Foret in France are the two races that spring to mind, now he's won a Group Three."
Earlier at Beverley, Quinn's Liberty Beach ran out a ready winner of the Hilary Needler Trophy, seen as a trial for the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, a race Quinn won 12 months ago with Signora Cabello.
"She had to be pushed along in the first two furlongs, and it was almost like she'd had two races - but she's a very nice filly, and stayed on really nicely," said Quinn.
"Visually, she was very impressive, so it was a lovely result.
"We'll definitely think about Royal Ascot. There's obviously the Queen Mary, and she'll also be put in the Windsor Castle."
To top off a great day for the yard Quinn's Lord Riddiford won a £40,000 handicap at Chelmsford.
Also Ascot-bound after winning at Beverley looks to be Summer Sands, who opened her account in the Truckingby Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy.
Part-owner Peter Swann, who is also chairman of Scunthorpe United, said of the Richard Fahey-trained winner: "This was a good race, but he's done it so well in the end and looks a proper racehorse.
"This is a nice prize to win, though, and hopefully we can get to Royal Ascot with him - for me, he looks like a Coventry horse."
Other notable winners at Haydock were the William Haggas-trained Klassique, who easily got the better of Willie Mullins' odds-on shot True Self in the Pinnacle Stakes, and Eric Alston's Maid In India, who made all in the Achilles Stakes.
In France on Sunday, Willie Mullins continued his domination of the Prix la Barka when Mr Adjudicator denied stablemate Bapaume back-to-back wins.
Mullins had won the last three renewals, with Un De Sceaux and Shaneshill scoring prior to Bapaume 12 months ago, and this time he fielded five of the nine runners.
Assistant trainer Patrick Mullins told Sky Sports Racing: "He really improved from the last day (seventh in French Champion Hurdle) when he got hampered.
"I thought (Bertrand) Lestrade gave him a fabulous ride as they went quite hard in front and down the back straight he stayed on the inside before coming home strong.
"Bapaume ran well, he had top-weight so it wasn't easy, but he loves it round here.
"It's fantastic for the Bobbetts (owners) because last year Mr Adjudicator came here but couldn't run because he was vaccinated wrong, so it's compensation for that."