Without alcohol: won the July Cup under Rob Hornby ahead of Naval Crown

‘It won’t be a weekend without alcohol’ – Rob Hornby relishes another Group 1 | Horse racing news

Alan Crowhurst

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Without alcohol: won the July Cup under Rob Hornby ahead of Naval Crown

Alan Crowhurst

By Stuart Riley

Saturday: Darley July Cup, Newmarket

Rob Hornby belongs at the top table. Prosperous Voyage’s surprise win at Falmouth was a polite reminder not to forget, then, just over 24 hours later, Alcohol Free’s blitz in the July Cup was an emphatic, heart-pounding and proud statement of his talents . Hornby, quite simply, is very good.

Last month, he risked being listed as a jockey for you to replace if you were lucky enough to have a very good horse.

Juddmonte gave him his chance in the Derby and Westover ran into trouble en route to being beaten. Replaced by Colin Keane, Westover won the Irish Derby by seven lengths.

And yet, despite all Hornby saying the right things and taking it on the chin, he was not ready to accept this fate. His career was slow, a product of the Andrew Balding academy. He wasn’t one of his former superstars – until now.

Hornby knew this weekend was important if he was to change that perception before it was too late. Earlier this week he told his mum excitedly that he had done two Group 1 races in two days and they both had a chance. He took them both.

“It won’t be a weekend without booze,” he joked when asked how he would celebrate.

Edward Whitaker

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Rob Hornby celebrates crossing the line after brilliant performance by Alcohol Free

Rob Hornby celebrates crossing the line after brilliant performance by Alcohol Free

Edward Whitaker

Rolling in Jeff Smith’s famous silks for the coach he joined aged 16 “because I wasn’t very good at school”, Hornby produced the kind of ride that meant that in a six-stadia Group 1 filled with some of the best sprinters in the world, he could stand in his shackles and punch the air flat out three or four strides before the line.

It wasn’t Mickael Barzalona’s flamboyance on Pour Moi when he won the 2011 Derby. Hornby had adamantly put the race to bed. It was a pure celebration of an accomplishment and he knew its meaning very well.

After the Prosperous Voyage victory, Hornby was repeatedly asked about the Westover saga. It is proof of the quality of his speech, not to mention the extent to which his constituency had spoken, that here everything revolves around him.

Not that the horseman saw it that way. When asked to sum up by taking his Group 1 total from one to three in just over 24 hours, he said: “It’s really crazy; it’s incredible; I am speechless. Yesterday was amazing, but to have two Group 1 races in two days is fantastic, not to mention two winners.

“Alcohol Free is a three time, now a four time Group 1 winner. These rides are huge to get and I’m very grateful to Mr Balding and Mr Smith, and the whole team needs the credit.

Edward Whitaker

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Rob Hornby with the July Cup

Rob Hornby with the July Cup

Edward Whitaker

“She’s a fiery character and there’s a lot going on at home behind the scenes to deal with her. Rachel, who takes care of her, certainly has a few more scars now.”

Going into the race, the sprint had been the big question mark. Alcohol Free had won Group 1 Cheveley Park over six furlongs to two, but since then their Group 1 victories have exceeded a mile in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

“I think we’re going to stick to six furlongs now,” Hornby said before eworking. “I wasn’t sure halfway through. She got a little disorganized and I wasn’t sure if she felt the ground, but once I put her into high gear and she hit the rising ground, she pulled away and won very convincingly.”

Just as fate played a part in Hornby keeping the Prosperous Voyage ride – Ralph Beckett admitted that if Frankie Dettori of Clarehaven’s sabbatical had continued its owners would have chosen to replace Hornby – he acquired the ride alcohol-free this season due to Oisin Murphy’s 14th birthday. one month ban.

“I got this opportunity at the start of the year,” Hornby said. “When we got beaten at Sandown, you think, ‘maybe she’s not the horse she was?’ so it’s fantastic that she’s gone and shown everyone that she still has all those abilities.

Speaking of ability, a mention must go to the Naval Crown ridden by James Doyle, who like Alcohol Free returned to sprinting this season and forward saw all but the winner, with Australian raider Artorius separating the two Godolphin stablemates with William Buick rides Creative Force fourth.

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 go for Ireland-based Colin Keane.

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.

Learn more about Super Saturday:

July Cup: Artorius side prepare French raid as Soumillon blames ground for loss of Perfect Power

Peter Thomas: The heat is on and dress codes relaxed but this glorious day belongs to Rob Hornby (£)

Superlative Stakes: ‘He’s really special’ – Isaac Shelby emerges as Guinean prospect after Group 2 win

York: “I couldn’t believe my eyes” – the incredible Royal Aclaim, Nunthorpe’s new favorite

Ascot: ‘We can’t dodge Baaeed’ – Chindit side prepare for rematch after Summer Mile win

Newmarket: It’s a Jamie Spencer special in the Bunbury Cup – but not as we know it

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