SAFE Voyage continued his love affair with Haydock with victory in the Group 3 Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes.
The John Quinn-trained six-year-old had been successful on each of his three previous visits to the Merseyside venue, including victories in a valuable handicap and a listed contest this spring.
The gelded son of Fast Company was the 5/4 favourite to continue his winning streak in this seven-furlong contest, and delighted his supporters with an ultimately decisive display in the hands of Jason Hart.
With his market rival Mankib completely blowing his chance after rearing up when the stalls opened, Safe Voyage travelled smoothly in third for much of the seven-furlong contest before moving to the front still full of running halfway up the home straight.
The consistent Suedois went in pursuit inside the final furlong, but Safe Voyage found plenty for pressure in the heavy ground, and there was a length and three-quarters between them at the line. Snazzy Jazzy was best of the rest in third.
Quinn – completing a big-race double, having earlier landed the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley with Liberty Beach – said: “You don’t have days like this very often, it’s just the job.
“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. 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 3.”