"She showed what she is, she's a champion" - the words of thrilled Salisbury racecourse chairman Jeff Smith after Alcohol Free took the highlight of the Glorious Goodwood meeting today to undoubtedly give him the biggest success in his long racing ownership.

For Smith, who has owned such brilliant horses in Persian Punch, Lochsong, he had a long time to wait for his second Sussex Stakes success - the first with Chief Singer a mere 37 years ago!

The three-year-old came with a surging run up the course in a slowly run affair in blustery conditions which suited her speed to overhaul the Irish challenger Poetic Flare a furlong out to score by a length and a half.

His animated rider Oisin Murphy could not disguise his joy, punching the air with his whip as he took her past the stands to a huge reception from the crowd.

"She can be a handful in the mornings but she's so, so talented and what a thrill I got from that. What a star she is."

After greeting his outstanding filly, a visibly delighted Smith admitted of his star who has now won three Group One races: "She is something else. The way she won this race was incredible. I am thrilled to pieces. What a wonderful job Andrew (Balding) and his whole team have done with her."

Smith, gutted to have lost the 1,000 Guineas in May when Alcohol Free was drawn on the wrong of the course away from the other fancied runners, felt confident he would gain revenge on Snow Lantern who had beaten her in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month where she didn't get enough cover. This time she was tucked away at the rear of the field in what was a fairly rough race with something to aim for.

Smith did confess he was a little concerned as to how the race was unfolding.

"I way very hopeful but the way she was bumped around and pushed about I wasn't so sure but the way she picked up showed what she is, she's a champion. There's no question in my mind, she's the real deal." 

With a smile, Balding confessed Alcohol Free has a demoralising affect on other horses working with her. "You have to keep swapping a lead. She's so good she's hardly blowing afterwards. It's effortless. It was a rough race. I'm sure there are some hard luck stories but she was the best on the day."