Quinn sets sights on £50,000 sprint
TRAINER Ralph Beckett welcomes the addition of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup to the racing calendar and will send Isabel De Urbina for the inaugural running of the Group 3 at York this Saturday.
The £90,000 mile and three-quarter race for older fillies and mares forms part of a wider initiative to encourage such horses to remain in training beyond their three-year-old season.
Isabel De Urbina has exactly the type of profile the programme has been designed for, stepping up in grade after winning the Listed-class Daisy Warwick Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month.
Hampshire-based Beckett said: “I think it is a good initiative. There is only one other group, I think I’m right in saying, over this trip for fillies in the calendar – the Lillie Langtry- which has been upgraded to group 2 as part of the same initiative. So in that sense it’s a welcome initiative.”
At 100, the four-year-old Isabel De Urbina is the highest-rated of the six-strong field. Her rivals will include the French-trained filly Do Re Mi Fa Sol who was second in Listed company three weeks ago.
Beckett added: “As far as Isabel De Urbina is concerned the programmers have got it right in that the race fits very well from the Daisy Warwick. I’m looking forward to running her. She should benefit from the step up in trip as well.”
Isabel De Urbina did her best work at the end of the mile and a half race at Goodwood, getting up late on to score by a half a length.
Beckett said: “It made her a stakes winner – she wasn’t that before. So in that sense it was not only encouraging but what her owner-breeder would have wanted.”
The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup is one of just seven races on the £225,000 card, which gets underway at 2pm<x-apple-data-detectors://6> with the Class 2 seven-furlong Constant Security Handicap.
The second-richest race of the afternoon at York is the five-furlong £50,000 MansionBet Sprint Handicap. El Astronaute is likely to be vying for the favourite’s tag after winning a course and distance sprint at the Dante Festival last week.
The John Quinn-trained five-year-old made all on the far side to win by a neck. He has been raised 3lb to 101 for that success and this time he has been drawn towards the stands rail in stall 17 of 19.
Quinn, who trains in the village of Settrington in North Yorkshire, said: “When you win a York handicap you expect to go up so I think 3lb was fair enough and I hope he could overcome it.
“He is in very good form and he has always run very well at York, albeit last week was the first time he won there.
“He goes on fast ground, he goes on good ground – the only ground he has proved to us that that he doesn’t like is heavy and that’s rather unlikely! “We are looking forward to running him and he is very well.”
Quinn’s team are in fine form and enjoyed two victories at the Dante Festival. As well as El Astronaute they were also on target with Signora Cabello in the Langleys Solicitors British EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes – a Listed contest over the minimum trip.
Quinn added: “We are very pleased with Signora Cabello. She has got her ‘black type’ – her next run would be the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.”
The twin successes on the Knavesmire have really put a spring in the step of Quinn and his staff at Bellwood Cottage Stables.
He reflected: “It means everything. It’s great for the yard and for all the lads and lasses who work so hard.”
For tickets for Saturday’s race meeting, the fourth of 18 at York in 2018, please call 01904 620911 x 225<tel:01904%20620911;225> or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk<http://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/>