John Quinn’s Liberty Beach is aiming to continue her progression in the Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.
In her four races to date, the filly has met with defeat just once when fourth in a red-hot renewal of the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.
Last time out at Sandown, she turned what looked a pretty competitive Listed race into something of a procession, powering clear to win by more than three lengths.
Quinn admits Wednesday’s Group Three represents another step up in grade, but the daughter of Cable Bay continues to please him.
“She’s been a revelation, and this looked the logical place to come after Sandown,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.
“We’ve been very pleased with her, and she seems in very good form, but this is another step up for her.
“All these races she has to run in are very competitive, but we’re happy with her – and we’re hoping for a very big run.
“She’s won on quick ground twice but she coped with very soft ground at Ascot, so you can’t say she’s ground dependent.
“All you want really is decent ground – then there are no excuses.”
There is an international flavour to the race – with two runners from France, Fan Club Rules and Wheels On Fire both trained by Matthieu Palussiere, while Joseph O’Brien sends over both Air Force Jet and Alligator Alley from Ireland.
The one who has travelled furthest, though, is American trainer Wesley Ward’s Maven.
Ruled out of Ascot after heavy rain, he went over to France to win a Group Three – and although the ground there was described as good to soft, Ward felt it was much quicker and he would not want to see any rain.
“I know they called it good to soft at Chantilly – and while I wasn’t there, I don’t see how it could have been because they moved the meeting back a few hours as it was so hot,” said Ward.
“He really wouldn’t want much rain. I’m at Goodwood, and everyone keeps telling me it’s coming.
“The horse is in great form. He’s been training really well, so we’ve just got to hope there’s not much rain.
“The same thing happened a couple of years ago when we wanted to run Happy Like A Fool – the heavens opened.
“We’ve got the right man on board anyway, the magic man Frankie (Dettori), so we’ll see what happens.”
Quinn’s Malton neighbour Richard Fahey runs Show Me Show Me, who won the Brocklesby at Doncaster way back in March.
He has not won since but was only narrowly denied in the Weatherbys Super Sprint recently.
“You would imagine Goodwood will suit, because he’s plenty of natural speed for a sharp five furlongs,” said Fahey.
“He’s going to have to step up again, clearly.
“It looks like we’ve all got John Quinn’s filly to beat – she’s progressing well.”
Clive Cox’s Hand On My Heart was an impressive winner on her debut against rivals with experience.
Sam Hoskins, representing owners Hot To Trot Racing, said: “Clive has always spoken highly of her since day one.
“The fact he even ran her in the race was a compliment to her – and we thought she might run a nice race and come third, but she won.
“We’ve been lucky enough to be associated with her two sisters – Heartache who won the Queen Mary and Heartwarming who is very talented.
“She wouldn’t want too much rain – but from what Clive is saying it won’t be lack of ability that will beat her. In saying that, it is a hot race, and Liberty Beach will be very hard to beat.
“We’ve definitely got an each-way shout, and it’s great to have Ryan Moore on board as well.”