Andrew Balding's leading Group One winning star Alcohol Free will miss her engagement in the Sprint Cup at Haydock a week on Saturday having picked up a minor injury.
A dual Group One winning filly, this season she has been dropped to sprinting trips from a mile and having got the idea of it when finishing ninth in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, she went onto take the July Cup in emphatic fashion.
Looking to retain her Sussex Stakes title at Glorious Goodwood she could only finish third behind Modern Games and the superstar Baaeed.
Set to drop back to six furlongs at Haydock at the start of September she will now be having a little spell on the sidelines but may instead be targeted at the Group One Champion Sprint Stakes instead.
(Credit ATR) Balding said: “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.
“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.
“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. We just have to hope she is OK in a week to 10 days’ time.”