08/17/2012 3:02PM

Deauville: Snow Fairy returns in Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet


The return of five-time Group 1 winner Snow Fairy highlights the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet on Sunday at Deauville in France, but Snow Fairy has found a difficult spot to make her first start since last November.

Five-year-old Snow Fairy finished third in the 2011 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before embarking on her second trip to Asia for late-season racing. She won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kyoto in Japan on Nov. 13 but was injured during a training session days before she was to start in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.

Snow Fairy’s connections announced soon after that the mare would return to race as a 5-year-old, and only now has trainer Ed Dunlop got her into race shape. The one and one-quarter mile Romanet, restricted to fillies and mares, lies within Snow Fairy’s favored distance range, but she is unlikely to be at her best coming back from such a long break.

Galikova, on the other hand, is set to make her second start of 2012 after an encouraging third-place in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 24, Galikova’s first race since finishing ninth in the 2011 Arc. The sister to Goldikova, trained by Freddie Head, had been highly regarded for the Arc after smartly winning the Group 1 Prix Vermeille a few weeks beforehand.

Also in the Romanet is talented 4-year-old filly Giofra, who raided England and landed the Group 1 Falmouth in her most recent start, beating Elusive Kate, who returned to win the Group 1 Prix Rothschild in her next race. The Falmouth is a one-mile race, but in her previous start Giofra had been second to Cirrus des Aigles racing 11 furlongs in the Prix Ganay.

Izzi Top won the Pretty Polly earlier in the summer but could only finish sixth last out in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes on Aug. 4. Timepiece was second in the Nassau and finished second in a weaker 2011 edition of the Romanet.

◗ The race before the Romanet is the Group 1 Prix Morny, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds that drew 11 entries. Among them is the England-based Reckless Abandon, who has started his career with three wins, the last two in Group 2 competition.