Alcohol Free to Miss Haydock Sprint Cup

Alcohol Free | PA Media

Four-time Group 1 winner Alcohol Free (Ire) has been ruled out of Saturday's G1 Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock with a minor injury.

A winner at the top level at two, three and four, the Andrew Balding-trained filly required stitches for a cut in an “awkward place” and looks likely to be sidelined for around ten days.

“Unfortunately Alcohol Free has sustained what we hope is a minor injury, but it is significant enough to rule her out of the Sprint Cup,” reported Balding.

“She's got a cut which requires some stitches in an awkward place. Hopefully it is not the end of her career, but it will seriously compromise her chances of getting to Haydock in top form, so we have decided to scrap that and work on alternative plans.”

Having won the Cheveley Park S. as a juvenile, Alcohol Free's successful 3-year-old campaign included victories over a mile in the Coronation S. and Sussex S. A drop back in trip this season also saw Jeff Smith's colour-bearer claim the July Cup at Newmarket before finishing third to Baaeed (GB) in a repeat attempt at the Sussex S. at Goodwood.

Her trainer added, “We are just going to have to be guided by how she responds. It has been stitched and we need to see how she responds to that, and we certainly wouldn't be taking any chances, so we will be playing it on a day-by-day basis.

“We will know more about things in a week's time. Racing is full of setbacks and disappointments, so we are fairly used to them. It is a blow, but thankfully they can't take away what she has already achieved.”

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