Alcohol Free Returns With A Win In Fred Darling Stakes
Cheveley Park Stakes heroine Alcohol Free (3f No Nay Never - Plying, by Hard Spun) strengthened her 1,000 Guineas aspirations by making a successful return to action in Sunday’s Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury.
Sent off favourite under Oisin Murphy, the Andrew Balding-trained bay raced in touch on the outside and was pushed along to make headway after three furlongs out. Leading approaching the final furlong, she was ridden out to deny the fast-finishing Statement by a short head.
Balding was delighted with his star’s seasonal return. “She's got a massive engine which is what you need in a racehorse. She always did everything very easily at home, but it was only really obvious when she came here and had her first race. She's top drawer.”
He is hopeful that Jeff Smith’s filly will stay the Classic distance, saying, “We expect her to improve a whole load as she's backward in her coat and hasn't done a huge amount of work at home. It's really encouraging that she's got it. She was down the wing but showed really good acceleration. She settled well and Oisin Murphy is in no doubt that she'd stay an extra furlong.”
Bred by Churchtown House Stud, the daughter of No Nay Never is now a three-time winner, her sole defeat being a close second in the Group 3 Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes.