Updated on 11/16/2010 7:29AM

English filly Snow Fairy adds Japanese Grade 1 win to her laurels


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Britain’s English and Irish Oaks winner Snow Fairy scored an astounding four-length victory in the $2.1 million Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Kyoto on Sunday, beating dual Japanese classic winner Apapane into third as the Canadian hope Ave weakened to finish 16th in the Grade 1 field of 17 fillies and mares.

The victory was extra satisfying for trainer Ed Dunlop as he had failed in two previous trips to Japan with Ouija Board, who had finished fifth and third in the Japan Cup.

Always well placed under Ryan Moore in sixth or seventh place just behind Apapane, Snow Fairy skimmed the rail to lead at the eighth pole and surged clear for a 7.50-1 victory over 2.10-1 second choice Meisho Beluga. The 1.70-1 favorite Apapane took the high road to get up for third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up. The time for the 1 3/8 miles on a firm turf course was 2:12.50.

Breaking post 16, Ave raced wide in seventh or eighth place under Javier Castellano before giving up the ghost approaching the stretch. The Roger Attfield-trained Flower Bowl Invitational winner,  Ave finished 13 1/2 lengths behind Snow Fairy.

“She ran smoothly until the last three furlongs but had nothing left in the end,” saidCastellano. “The distance may have been a bit too long for her.”

Snow Fairy has a number of options open to her as she is nominated to the 1 1/2-mile Japan Cup against males at Tokyo on Nov. 28. Dunlop will ship the daughter of Intikhab to Tokyo on Tuesday and, after determining her fitness, will make a decision concerning that race. She is also nominated to both the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Cup and the 1 1/2-mile Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on Dec. 12.

In any event, Snow Fairy’s owners at Anamoine Ltd. will take home a big pile of yen. In addition to first prize money of $1,132,656, Snow Fairy also earns a Japan Racing Association bonus of $1,086,030 for having completed the English Oaks/Irish Oaks/Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup triple.