Glorious Goodwood: Alcohol Free floors Poetic Flare in Sussex Stakes to give owner Jeff Smith a famous win

Royal Ascot winner Alcohol Free gives owner Jeff Smith first winner in the Sussex Stakes since 1984; Andrew Balding's three-year-old filly beat favourite Poetic Flare and Snow Lantern; Alcohol Free third in Falmouth Stakes before Goodwood win

Oisin Murphy celebrates as Alcohol Free crosses the line in front in the Sussex Stakes
Image: Oisin Murphy celebrates as Alcohol Free crosses the line in front in the Sussex Stakes

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.

Get racing news on your phone

Get racing news on your phone

Never miss a story with all the latest racing news, interviews and features on your phone. Find out more

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.

Alcohol Free wins the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, beating Poetic Flare and Snow Lantern
Image: Alcohol Free beats favourite Poetic Flare and Snow Lantern at Goodwood

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.

Also See:

Murphy parades Alcohol Free in front of the Goodwood crowd after winning the Sussex Stakes
Image: Murphy parades Alcohol Free in front of the Goodwood crowd

Smith said: "This filly is something else, the way she has won that, it's simply incredible.

"I'm thrilled to pieces, and what a wonderful job Andrew and the whole team have done.

"It wasn't so much the opposition. I was just concerned we didn't have a repeat of the Falmouth Stakes, where she got left in the lead having broken too well. Provided she got cover and something to aim at, I felt not confident but very hopeful.

Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter

Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter

See the latest horse racing news, interviews and features from Sky Sports Racing

"Then she got bumped around and pushed back, but the way she picked up she showed what she really is. She's a champion.

"There's no question in my mind, she's the real deal."

Around Sky