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ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – Jeff Smith’s Alcohol Free took the lead inside the final furlong to win Friday’s Coronation Stakes (G1) at Ascot Racecourse and bring jockey Oisin Murphy redemption 1 race after losing via disqualification.
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Alcohol Free overtook pacesetter Novemba with a furlong remaining before powering away to win the mile-long heavy ground event restricted to 3-year-old fillies by 1 1/2 lengths. The Andrew Balding-trained daughter of No Nay Never, already a multiple Groups stakes winner, improved her record to 6-4-1-0 while avenging her last-out fifth in the 1000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket behind Mother Earth (third here as the 3/1 favorite).
“We had heavy hearts after Newmarket because it isn’t often you go into a Classic expecting to win it,” Balding said. “For whatever reason, it didn’t pan out that day and she was below-par, but she was back to her best today, and she looked pretty good. We were a bit concerned when all the rain came because her stamina wasn’t guaranteed, but full credit to Oisin – it’s the measure of the man to have the disappointment he had 5 minutes before they go in the stalls, and to give her such a good ride takes some doing.”
Snow Lantern necked out Mother Earth for runner-up honors, with Novemba fading late to finish another 1/2-length back in fourth. Pretty Gorgeous, Fev Rover, Flirting Bridge, Empress Josephine, Potapova, Shale, and Lullaby Moon completed the order of finish. Oodnadatta and Primo Facio scratched.
Alcohol Free returned $11.60 to win and $4 to place. Snow Lantern brought back $9.40 to place. Mother Earth paid $3.60 to place.
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