- Sire-Dam -
Safe Voyage was an unconsidered 40/1 chance for the £1,100,000 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on 2019 QIPCO British Champions Day.
However, with the soft conditions in his favour and Jamie Spencer on his back, he stayed on to be a fine third to King Of Change and The Revenant, beaten about three lengths
Safe Voyage’s trainer, John Quinn, was on duty at Catterick so it was his son, Sean, who took responsibility at Ascot.
Sean said: “I’m delighted for his owner, Ross Harmon, who pitched the idea to run in this race 12 months ago. The ground can be soft at this time of year and this horse is very effective in such conditions.
“Ross floated his suggestion before the horse ran a shocker in the Balmoral, but he was wiped out at half way in what was a messy race, and you can forgive him that. This year he has probably improved again.
“Running this well over a mile, after so many runs over seven furlongs, does open up more doors but I think the ground is more relevant to this horse than the trip. The softer the ground the better. He’s a gelding so if we can keep him fit and healthy I see no reason why he can’t try for this race again next year.”
Twelve months later, connections did intend toy with trying to go two places better but instead missed Ascot to have a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The decision backfired as Safe Voyage, usually tremendously reliable, trailed in last.
However, that could not take the gloss off an excellent 2020 campaign. He won two Group 2 prizes and finished a close third to One Master in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret.
Look out for him in the top races over a mile, especially if the ground is on the slow side.