SETTRINGTON-based John Quinn sent out his 1,000th winner as a trainer when Safe Voyage won the Investec Surrey Stakes at Epsom on Saturday, writes Colin Russell.

A former jump successful jockey, Quinn first took out a trainer's licence in 1994 and made just a steady start for he sent out two winners in his first year and only one the following season.

He said: "I began with just two horses and I did everything including riding them in races over jumps.

"It was a slow start for after three seasons I'd had just eight flat winners and eight over jumps."

Like all trainers Quinn was always looking out for the outstanding horses, and he has had plenty of those over the years, including Safe Voyage who has proved a wonderfully consistent performer for he has now run 25 times, won on ten occasions and has been placed in a further five.

Bought for £52,000 at Doncaster as a yearling, he has now won over £360,000 for his owner Ross Harman.

Like his trainer, Safe Voyage was not an instant success.

It wasn't until his fourth try that he won his first race and that was a lowly handicap over six furlongs at Thirsk in July 2016 when he ran off a mark of just 67.

He failed to win another race in that his second season, but he has matured and blossomed with age for as a four-year-old he won twice on Newcastle's all-weather surface and another on turf at Ayr.

Since then, he has become something of a winning machine, particularly when the ground is soft for he has won another seven races, including a Group 3 and a Listed race at Haydock.

Although his first win was over six furlongs, he is a confirmed seven-furlong specialist these days so Saturday's Listed Investec Surrey Stakes at Epsom over that trip was tailor-made for him.

Punters thought so as well, for though the ground wasn't as soft as ideal he was sent off as the favourite at 6-5 and eventually ran out a convincing winner.

In the process, he broke the track record which had stood since 1972.

At the halfway point though his chance didn't look too bright as rider Jason Hart was driving him pretty hard and still had several lengths to make up on the leaders.

But the leaders had set a strong gallop and coming into the final furlong Safe Voyage really came into his own.

Showing a sharp turn of foot he breezed past the leaders to win going away by a length and a half from the Middleham-trained Vale Of Kent.

John Quinn did not make the journey down to Surrey but watched from home.

Quinn said: "We are over the moon with him.

"He has been a wonderful horse and his owner has been very loyal to me over the years.

"It was very special that he has broken the course record which has stood for 48 years, it's a bit surreal really.

"He will probably now go for The Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh later this month."

It was a second Epsom success for Malton-based Jason Hart.

He added: "Everything went smoothly and I was delighted when he met the rising ground.

"He is a very consistent horse and the team at home have done a great job.

"He is even better when there is some give in the ground."

A measure of Safe Voyage's remarkable progress is that when he won his first race he was rated 67, but he is now rated 114, an improvement of 47lb.

Quinn looked to have a chance of a big-race double with Liberty Beach in the Group 3 Coral Charge at Sandown on Sunday.

Third to Battash in last month's King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot she was sent off the 13-8 to land what looked an easier race, but well though she ran, she had to settle for second place behind A'Ali, who stormed home under Frankie Dettori riding for Ed and Simon Crisford.

However, Quinn did have a Sunday winner, though not one he was expecting for the 50-1 shot My Dandy Doc improved markedly on the form he had shown as a juvenile by landing the Handicap at Doncaster in the hands of Ryedale jockey Dougie Costello.

Saturday's other notable Ryedale winner was Art Power from Tim Easterby's Great Habton yard. Already the winner of both his races in 2020, the second a valuable handicap handicap at Royal Ascot, the three-year-old was sent off at 4-6 to make it three out of three for the year in the Group 3 Coolmore Sioux Nation Lacken Stakes over six furlongs at Naas.

He did not disappoint. Although drawn towards the middle of the track, well away from his main rival Millisle, he cruised through the race, and without his rider getting at all serious with him, he quickened away to win by two and a half lengths.

Once again he looked a class act, and his performance certainly impressed jockey Colin Keane who was riding him for the first time.

"He is very uncomplicated although he is still a bit green," he said afterwards.

"When I asked him he quickened up well. I haven't ridden many Group 1 sprinters but I would think he could go right to the top."

Easterby has plenty of options for the grey, who runs in the colours of King Power Racing, for he is a versatile performer having won over five furlong at Royal Ascot but proving at least as good over the stiff six furlongs at Naas.

He is entered for next weekend's Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket, but that might come a shade too soon and perhaps the Coolmore Nunthorpe at York's Ebor meeting will feature high on his agenda. Whatever race he goes he will take plenty of beating as he looks a high-class prospect.

The saddest news of the week was the announcement of the death of John Cleverly at the age of 86. A popular racing figure who lived in Setterington, he was clerk of the course and then manager at Beverley from 1973-2000 and continued to serve as a director there until 2014. He also acted as clerk of the course at Sedgefield and Redcar for several years and after he retired from those duties he served as a steward at several Yorkshire tracks.

The current Beverley chief executive Sally Iggulden said: "Everyone at Beverley is deeply saddened by the news. He was an incredibly kind man, and when he was a steward he found it tough handing out punishments to young jockeys. He always acted in the selfless best interests of the racecourse."