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Alcohol Free adds more Group 1 success as Andrew Balding is named top trainer at Glorious Goodwood

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Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding has confirmed his intentions to run stable star Alcohol Free in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York later this month.

The impressive three-year-old clocked up her third Group 1 victory of her career after winning the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last week.

The win was her fifth victory in seven appearances and Balding was thrilled to see her in the winner’s enclosure once more.

Alcohol Free winning the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury earlier this season
Alcohol Free winning the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury earlier this season

“We were slightly deflated after Newmarket, so it was great to see her back in the most important mile race of the summer.

“She was impressive and it was a real thrill for everyone involved.”

Alcohol Free, who was ridden by Lambourn jockey Oisin Murphy, is likely to run on Qipco Champions Day in October, but there will be a run before that with the Juddmonte an option.

“It is a possibility because it’s a big ask as we’d be stepping up another two furlongs, but when you get to this stage when a filly has won three Group 1s your options are limited.

“It doesn’t really matter if it’s an experiment and it doesn’t come off because it’s not like we’re trying to preserve her stud value as you would with a colt.

“We’ll leave it until the 11th hour, I think she’ll be confirmed and we will wait till declaration time to see how we feel and how she is.”

As well as Alcohol Free’s success, there were wins for Achelois, Wilderness Girl, Oo De Lally and Imperial Fight as Balding finished the week as top trainer.

“It is excellent because we just missed out being on top at Royal Ascot, so it was nice to do it and you hope to do it there because it is important.

“It is a focal point for us in the summer and it’s lovely to have crowds back as well and it really felt like the old days and it was great.”

It’s been an impressive season for the Park House handler as he fell narrowly short at being top trainer at Royal Ascot.

Balding, who is now the leading trainer in the trainers championship, is hoping his team can continue their success over the next few months.

“Hopefully we can keep this up for the rest of the summer and into the autumn because there is still some big races to come.

“It would be lovely to think that we can add to the seasons tally.”

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