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Irish-born trainer John Quinn registered his 1,000th (Flat and Jump) career winner as 6/5 favourite Safe Voyage came home a length and a half clear of Vale Kent in the Listed Investec Surrey Stakes at Epsom.
The seven-year-old Fast Company gelding took the lead in the final half-furlong and won in a time of 1m 19.88s – a new course record over the 7-furlong distance, beating the record of 1m 20.15s set by Crossbow in 1972.
Winning jockey Jason Hart said: “It was a good performance from Safe Voyage. He is a friend to me. He was never really going for any part of that race and only really got going in that last half furlong when we met that rising ground, that is where he really got motoring. I was just delighted that we met that rising ground in time.
“I think with more ease in the ground, you would see a better horse again. Safe Voyage is very consistent. The team at home have done a great job with the horse. Everyone has done a great job of getting him to where we have got him. This is the boss’s 1,000th winner so well done him. It’s nice to have a big winner on Derby Day and that was a good effort.”
Winning owner Ross Harmon said: “That was absolutely fantastic. Every single run last year was excellent, and he ran great at Ascot [when third in 2019 G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes]. I am glad he has won today and I told everybody in the world he would win today.
“The boss man at home said he goes on the good ground, but he is even better on soft ground. There was a nice cut and the boss man said he was fine, so it was excellent.
“It was Listed race today – we will go steady away and see if he can do the same as last year.”
2.25pm Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed) 7f
1 Safe Voyage John Quinn 7-9-05 Jason Hart 6/5f
2 Vale Of Kent Mark Johnston 5-9-05 Joe Fanning 5/1
3 Shine So Bright Andrew Balding 4-9-05 Silvestre De Sousa 5/1
Winner owned by Ross Harmon
Time: 1m 19.88s
Distances: 1½l, 1½l.