Alcohol Free all set to give Jeff Smith more Goodwood glory

Andrew Balding expects Alcohol Free to put up a staunch defence of her crown in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday.

The daughter of No Nay Never enjoyed an excellent three-year-old campaign last season, winning the Fred Darling at Newbury and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot before beating the boys in the Sussex.

She is set to return to Goodwood at the top of her game having bagged a third Group One victory in the July Cup at Newmarket a fortnight ago – and while she has plenty on her plate, faced with the likes of Baaeed and Coroebus, Balding is hopeful she can make her presence felt.

“We’ve been very happy with her,” said the Kingsclere handler.

“It was two weeks ago she won so she hasn’t worked since then, she’s just been cantering, but she has eaten well and put all the weight she lost back on.

“She looks very well in herself, and she’ll have a light piece of work on Saturday which will hopefully put her spot on for next Wednesday.”

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Alcohol Free carries the colours of prominent owner-breeder Jeff Smith, who has enjoyed his fair share of success on the Sussex Downs, with this year marking the 30th anniversary of his magnificent mare Lochsong’s victory in the Stewards’ Cup.

Lochsong went on to establish herself as one of the top sprinters of the 1990s by winning the Nunthorpe at York and the Prix de l’Abbaye twice.

Jeff Smith (centre) with Lochsong after winning the Stewards' Cup
Jeff Smith (centre) with Lochsong after winning the Stewards’ Cup (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Balding added: “Jeff Smith has been a tremendous supporter of the yard and so many other people in racing for a long time.

“He’s a fantastic owner-breeder, and a great man to train for. He loves Goodwood and has enjoyed some pretty massive successes at Goodwood in the past.

“It’s always an important meeting for us to try to get some of Jeff’s horses there to Goodwood with a chance. It would be a big occasion if Alcohol Free could pull it off again.”

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