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Lowther preview: Liberty Beach stepping into unknown territory

Wed 21 Aug 2019

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Liberty Beach will bid to show she is as effective at six furlongs as she is over the minimum trip when she takes her chance in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York on Thursday.

John Quinn’s rapid filly has won four of her five competitive starts to date, her only defeat coming when fourth behind the top-class Raffle Prize in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot in June.

The daughter of Cable Bay has since blitzed her rivals in the Dragon Stakes at Sandown before powering home to beat the boys in the Molecomb at Goodwood.

She will test her powers over six furlongs for the first time on the Knavesmire, and Quinn admits only time will tell whether she will prove as effective over the longer distance.

Our experts analyse Liberty Beach's victory in the Molecomb at Goodwood

He said: “Everything has been fine with her since Goodwood and I’ve been very happy with her, so it’s fingers crossed.

“Obviously I hope she gets the extra furlong, that’s why we’re running, and she’s never been stopping at the end of her races.

“In her last two races her last furlongs have been her most impressive – she has looked powerful crossing the line.

“York isn’t a stiff six furlongs, but it is still six furlongs.”

James Tate has two chances in the Group Two contest, with the unbeaten Under The Stars joined by stable companion Nasaiym.

Under The Stars followed up a debut win at Ripon with a surprise triumph in the Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last month, a victory which prompted connections to stump up the required £15,000 supplementary fee to add her to the Lowther.

“We supplemented her for the Lowther as this was the logical next step after Ascot,” said Tate.

“Although she works nicely, she doesn’t overdo herself at home, so we didn’t know how much she had in hand before the Princess Margaret, but it was nice to see the improvement she made there and she seems to have come on again. Hopefully she can repeat that form, or even build on it.

“She hit the line hard at Ascot because we waited with her. PJ (McDonald) held her up and only asked her for her effort in the last furlong. She was very impressive there.

“She didn’t blow after the race and it didn’t take much out of her. The quicker six furlongs won’t hold any fears and I am very optimistic.”

Watch how Nasaiym scored at Newbury last time out

Having filled the runner-up spot on her Thirsk introduction, Nasaiym went one better as a short priced favourite at Newbury last month.

“Nasaiym has always been a filly we’ve liked. She won nicely enough at Newbury, but I thought she won in spite of the soft ground and she did it on class,” the trainer added.

“These are lightly-raced horses and we’re still learning about them. While this is obviously a big step up, my gut would be that she could take a significant step forward on better ground.”

The two Irish-trained contenders are Aidan O’Brien’s Precious Moments and the Ken Condon-trained Celtic Beauty.

Watch how Celtic Beauty got back to winning ways at Naas

The latter ran a huge race to fill the runner-up spot in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and while she disappointed in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on her next start, she has since bounce back with a first career win in maiden company at Naas.

Condon said: “I was delighted with her in Naas. It wasn’t just the fact that she won, but the she did in good style and she’s been very good since.

“There are 10 very good fillies in the race on Thursday and it’s a very competitive race, as you would expect, but our filly is rated 103 and she’s well entitled to be there.

“Her run at Newmarket was below-par, but we just think she didn’t act on the track. You would like to think York will play to her strengths as there’s more emphasis on speed and it’s a nice, level track, which should suit her.

“She seems in very good form and if she can reproduce her Ascot run, she should give a good account of herself.”

Karl Burke’s Living In The Past was beaten just three-quarters of a length by Under The Stars at Ascot and renews rivalry.

William Haggas saddles once-raced Newbury maiden winner Wejdan, with Good Vibes (David Evans), Flippa The Strippa (Charlie Hills) and Moon Of Love (Richard Fahey) completing the line-up.

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