Four-time Group 1 Winner Alcohol Free Brings 5.4 Million Guineas at Tattersalls

December 2, 2022

Alcohol Free heads through the sales ring (Tattersalls)

Talented Filly Second-most Expensive Thoroughbred Ever Sold at Auction in Europe

By Amber Joyce

NEWMARKET, U.K.— Four-time Group 1 winner Alcohol Free (IRE) commanded a hefty sum of 5,400,000 guineas on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Tattersalls’ inaugural Sceptre Sessions. This fancy price tag stamped Alcohol Free as the second-most expensive Thoroughbred to ever sell at auction in Europe, behind G1-winning Marsha, who sold for 6,000,000 guineas in 2017.

It was BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe who purchased Alcohol Free, lot 1904, coming out on top in a bidding duel against Coolmore’s MV Magnier (who set the auction record when buying Marsha). Donohoe purchased the brilliant filly for Yueshang Zang of Yulong Investments. 

A future down under is in store for Alcohol Free, who will be heading to Australia to continue her racing career under the care of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

“There is a lot of money to win in Australia – I think 87 races this year are worth a million plus so we hope to recoup a lot of what we paid for her, and add a bit more too,” said Donohoe. “She will probably race for a season and then be covered, and we will probably send her to Frankel.”

Sam Fairgray of Yulong Investments revealed to TDNAusNZ that the four-year-old will aim for a start in Australia’s richest race, The Everest, worth AU$15M. “If everything fell into place she would definitely take her place for us in The Everest and, given her race record, I think she would be very competitive.”

Alcohol Free certainly does have the race record to be competitive, having won Group 1 events at two, three, and four. She began her career as a juvenile, racing in the silks of Littleton Stud’s Jeff Smith for trainer Andrew Balding. Following a winning debut, she narrowly missed becoming a Group 3 winner but made up for it two weeks later, capturing the G1 Cheveley Park.

She then took nearly seven months off from racing, returning as a three-year-old with a win in the G3 Dubai Duty Free. It was upward from there, the G1 Coronation and Sussex going to Alcohol Free. This summer at Newmarket, she broke a losing streak of five, storming to a one-and-a-half-length victory in the G1 Darley July Cup over Naval Crown. 

To cap off a stellar campaign in the Northern Hemisphere, Alcohol Free was third behind champion Baaeed and duel-Breeders’ Cup victor Modern Games in the G1 Sussex July 27. Overall, she has won six of her fifteen starts and has been second or third four times, all in group races. Her total earnings are £1,511,660, roughly $1.8M in the US.

Alcohol Free (Tattersalls)

Bred in Ireland by Churchtown House Stud, Alcohol Free is sired by No Nay Never and is the sixth foal out of Plying, a mare by Hard Spun. Notably, Alcohol Free is half to Alexander James, a winner of multiple stakes in France. A slew of graded stakes caliber horses pop up in her pedigree, including Raise a Grand, More Than Love, Kissing Lights, and Weldnaas. 

Alcohol Free has strong lineage in the States, hailing from the Phipps family of Baby League (a great broodmare in her own right), a daughter of the great La Troienne. Her fourth through ninth dams are all Phipps-bred. Her fifth dam, Special Account, has three crosses to Triple Crown winner War Admiral and two to La Troienne.

What a day for @jonathanstettin who had the Rainbow 6 twice! That’s why he’s the KING!

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