JOHN QUINN has nominated the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival as the intended target for improving filly, Liberty Beach.
The talented juvenile has been one of the success stories of the season, blitzing her nine rivals in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown, prior to a taking success in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
The daughter of Cable Bay holds an entry in both the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes and the Prix Morny at Deauville, but Quinn said the former engagement – a £225,000 Group 2 – is the preferred option.
“She’s in the Morny and the Lowther, but I think she’ll run in the Lowther,” Quinn said.
“She’s been absolutely fine since Goodwood. She’s had an easy-ish time since. She cantered lovely on Monday and I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Liberty Beach has yet to race beyond five furlongs, but Quinn remains open minded about the prospect of his charge stepping up in trip by a furlong on the Knavesmire.
The Malton-based handler is also relaxed regarding ground conditions for Liberty Beach, highlighting her versatility in a five-start career that has so far yielded four victories and a fourth-place finish in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“Obviously you never know until you try (six furlongs), but she hits the line hard and we shall see,” he said.
“She’s won on good-to-firm and good ground, while she ran very well on soft ground at Ascot. She’s not ground dependent.”
While Quinn is hopeful Liberty Beach can continue to climb through the ranks, he said a potential supplementary entry for the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes – run on the Friday of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival – had never been under consideration.
“We’ll leave the Nunthorpe until next year!” the trainer added. “She hasn’t done much wrong against some very good horses. Hopefully she can keep going.”
The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival has been a fruitful hunting ground for Quinn before, saddling New Planet to success in the 2010 renewal of the Listed Julia Graves Roses Stakes, and he reaffirmed the importance of York’s flagship fixture.
Quinn said: “Obviously, everybody would love to have a winner at the Ebor Meeting.”
The Sky Bet Lowther Stakes is scheduled for the second day of The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, which runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.