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Without alcohol: won the July Cup under Rob Hornby ahead of Naval Crown
By Catherine Macrae
Saturday: Darley July Cup, Newmarket
Alcohol Free bounced back to their best to claim stunning July Cup success under Rob Hornby.
The four-year-old filly headed the other side to strike, claiming her fourth Group 1 victory at 14-1 ahead of Naval Crown and Artorius.
Third in the meeting last year in the Falmouth Stakes, the rider trained by Andrew Balding became the first filly to win the July Cup since Fleeting Spirit in 2009.
The success was a second high profile triumph of the meeting for Hornby, who won the Falmouth Stakes on Friday with Prosperous Voyage.
“It’s crazy,” said Hornby. “It all depends on the filly, she has been an absolute star for Mr Smith, who is such a big supporter of the sport.
“For her to go and win another Group 1, dropping back to 1,400 metres, that was something we were always going to consider. She has speed and a lot of class.”
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Rob Hornby celebrates beyond the line after clinching the July Cup
Alcohol Free was last seen finishing ninth in the Platinum Jubilee – its first six furlong start since winning the Cheveley Park Stakes in 2020 – and reversed form with Naval Crown to win by a length and a half.
She was promoted to market lead for the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock in September at 6-1 (from 12).
Perfect Power, who were sent as favorites under Christophe Soumillon, slowly slipped away and struggled on the fast pitch to finish seventh, with Japanese raider King Hermes eleventh.
Rob Hornby’s Roller Coaster Month
June 4: Hornby finishes an unlucky third in the Westover Derby, running out of place at a key point in the race. The pair remains promising behind Desert Crown.
June 21st: He loses the ride on Westover in the Irish Derby as connections opt for Colin Keane to take over.
June 25: Westover wins the Irish Derby by seven lengths under Keane.
June 28: Scope, the horse that gave Hornby his first Group 1 winner in the Prix Royal-Oak last year, suffered a fatal galloping injury.
July 8: A first domestic Group 1 winner for Hornby as Prosperous Voyage beat Inspiral 1-7 shot in the Falmouth Stakes.
July 9th : Hornby rides his second high profile winner in 24 hours as Alcohol Free causes an upset in the July Cup.
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FIRST POSTED AT 4:39 PM, JULY 9, 2022
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