Alcohol Free storms to Qatar Sussex Stakes win
Alcohol Free beat the colts to provide owner Jeff Smith with a famous victory in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
Successful in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, the Andrew Balding-trained filly attempted to make all in the Falmouth at Newmarket last time out but had to give best close home to Snow Lantern, who took her on again.
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy was determined to delay his challenge on this occasion and made sure he played his hand late.
After a slow early pace Century Dream injected some speed into it a long way from home and caught a few rivals on the back foot.
Kevin Manning set off in pursuit on the favourite Poetic Flare and on entering the final furlong hit the front – but Jim Bolger’s 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes hero was soon to face a bigger challenge, as Alcohol Free (7-2) quickened impressively and went on to win by a length and three-quarters.
Snow Lantern, who could have run in the Nassau Stakes over 10 furlongs later in the week, made up plenty of late ground to claim third, the same distance away.
Smith last won the race in 1984 with Chief Singer, while he has also tasted Goodwood glory with the likes of Lochsong and Persian Punch.