Oisin Murphy and Alcohol Free shift focus to York’s Juddmonte after Glorious Goodwood glory in Qatar Sussex Stakes

OISIN MURPHY was the toast of Glorious Goodwood after Alcohol Free won the Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes – the feature meeting of the week.

Oisin Murphy celebrates Alcohol Free's win in the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

The champion jockey produced a vintage ride on the three-year-old filly, biding his time before swooping past 2000 Guineas victor Poetic Flare.

Though Murphy won the 2018 renewal of the top mile on Lightning Spear, he was heartbroken after a troubled run on his Guineas hero Kameko last year.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And Alcohol Free showed a liking for soft underfoot conditions – she won last month’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on even more testing ground.

Alcohol Free and Oisin Murphy after winning the Qatar Sussex Stakes during day two of the Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester.

Murphy was ecstatic as he paraded the horse in front of packed stands.

“She really can be a handful in the mornings – it can be tough work,” he said.

“But she’s so, so talented – and what a thrill I got from that! I’ve won this race before on Lightning Spear, and then last year it went all wrong.”

Owner Jeff Smith, who first won the race in 1984 with Chief Singer, said: “She’s a champion.”

They are profound words from a man whose colours have been carried with such distinction by the likes of Persion Punch and Lochsong in the past.

Trainer Andrew Balding raised the tantalising possibility of Alcohol Free, now a three-time Group One winner, stepping up in trip to 10 furlongs for next month’s Juddmonte International at York.

The concern is that the extra distance would blunt the filly’s devastating burst of speed – but Balding says his stable star has nothing left to prove.

The Juddmonte also remains a possible option for Mohaafeth after a third-place finish behind Bangkok in last weekend’s Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire.

Trainer William Haggas was not too disappointed in the immediate aftermath, while connections feel on further reflection that perhaps pacemaker Montatham did not set a strong enough gallop.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Shadwell Estate, said: “I think it’s fair to say we probably got our tactics wrong, which didn’t help him by setting too slow a pace.”

Meanwhile, James Fanshawe is confident Audarya can handle testing conditions as she seeks her third Group One victory in the Qatar Nassau Stakes – Goodwood’s day three feature.

A Monday-night storm saw the ground turn predominately heavy for the opening day of the Glorious fixture, but it improved to soft, good to soft in places by yesterday morning.

While Audarya’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf success last term came on firm ground, she previously won the Prix Jean Romanet on soft.

“Audarya ran really well at Royal Ascot and she’s come out of the race in good form,” said Fanshawe.

“Six weeks is a nice gap between races when you are taking things step by step, and we’ve had this race in mind for a while. She’s doing everything right. It was fast ground at Keeneland and Royal Ascot, but she shouldn’t have any problem on easier going because it was very testing when she won the Romanet.”