Sussex Stakes Success Completes Group Double For No Nay Never
Jeff Smith’s pride and joy came into the race with two top-level victories to her name, but had to bounce back from her close third in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes, when she was forced to make the running. Settled behind the leaders at Goodwood, Oisin Murphy asked her to quicken approaching two furlongs out and the bay ran on well to lead entering the final furlong. Keeping on well, she won by a length and three quarters from dual Group 1 winner Poetic Flare, with the same distance back to Falmouth Stakes heroine Snow Lantern.
An elated Jeff Smith later said, “This filly is something else. The way she's won that is simply incredible.” Winning trainer Andrew Balding was similarly impressed by his charge, saying “It's no easy task taking on the colts and the older horses, but to do it in that style is just fantastic. She's a class act and on this day she's as good as anything.”
The master of Kingslere is now considering a step up in trip in the Juddmonte International; “It's a mile and a quarter and obviously it's a big ask, but she's won three Group 1s already and has nothing to prove so it would be a possibility to turn up there.”
Bred by Churchtown House Stud, Alcohol Free recorded her first Group 1 victory in the Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs and made her first step up in trip a successful one in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes, before conquering the mile in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes.
Group 1 glory now beckons for Armor (2c No Nay Never - Hestia, by High Chaparral), after the Richard Hannon-trained colt ran out an impressive winner of the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes just 35 minutes earlier.
A debut winner in April, the Al Shaqab Racing-owned bay finished fifth in the Windsor Castle Stakes last time out and was ridden prominently on Wednesday by Ryan Moore. Pushed along from two furlongs out, he led 100 yards from the line and quickened clear to win by three and a quarter lengths.
On future targets, Hannon later mentioned the Prix Morny and Flying Childers Stakes, with Armor’s sire having won the Prix Morny himself in 2013. Bred by Chris Stedman, he becomes a 17th individual Group/Graded winner by No Nay Never, with Zain Claudette (No Nay Never) having joined the list on Saturday in winning the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes.