09/08/2012 3:24PM

Leopardstown: Snow Fairy shows kick in Irish Champion Stakes


Snow Fairy hurt a tendon in her leg last winter while preparing for a race in Hong Kong, but she has come back from that injury at least the equal of the horse she was before it.

Snow Fairy won her comeback race Aug. 19 at Deauville in France, the Group  1 Romanet, but bagged a bigger prize Saturday at Leopardstown in Ireland, out-kicking Nathaniel to capture the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes by 1  1/4 lengths.

The Irish Champion being part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, Snow Fairy’s win earned her a fees-paid berth into the Breeders Cup Turf. Her trainer, Ed Dunlop, talked after the race like Snow Fairy’s connections would send her to California this fall, though whether for the BC Turf or Filly and Mare Turf he did not specify. Dunlop won the Filly and Mare Turf in 2004 and 2006 with Ouija Board.

Snow Fairy rated comfortably in fourth as Daddy Long Legs set a quick pace for his better-qualified stablemate, St Nicholas Abbey, with Nathaniel racing second, several lengths behind in the early going. Daddy Long Legs led down the back straightaway and partway around the race’s one full turn, but Nathaniel closed in and moved aggressively to the front under William Buick a little less than a half-mile from the finish. Racing at top flight at the head of the home straight, Nathaniel soon was confronted by Snow Fairy, who turned her legs over more quickly than Nathaniel and sped past in the final furlong. The winner, second-favorite to Nathaniel, was timed in a fast 2:00.92 seconds for 1 1/4 miles on good-to-firm going.

Snow Fairy, a 5-year-old Irish-bred mare by Intikhab, was a bargain auction purchase. She won for the ninth time in 21 starts, with seven of those wins – three in East Asia – having come at the Group 1 level.

Last year’s BC Turf winner, St Nicholas Abbey, turned in a creditable performance to finish third, beaten three quarters of a length by Nathaniel at a distance probably a quarter-mile short of his best. Light Heavy, Born to Sea, and a spent Daddy Long Legs completed the order of finish.

◗ At Haydock Park in England, Society Rock captured the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup by three-quarters of a length over Gordon Lord Byron. Bated Breath finished third and favored Ortensia came home 12th. Ortensia was said by her connections to have cut her right fetlock in the the six-furlong race.

Grazyna Mianska More than 1 year ago
To the writer of this thread, How about a bit of credit to the best guts balls rider in the world Frankie Dettori. He knew exactly when to send her.
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
Glad to see Snow Fairy back in form. She's a tough horse and hope to see her in Southern Cali in Nov. Ortensia is inconsistent. Maybe they bring her over too if they do hope she's on her a game because you never know which one will show up
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
Ortensia finished 12th? Kiss good bye the Breeders' Cup this November for her since there is no chance her connections will send her here for the BC Turf Sprint. I was hoping she'd performed well and gives her connections incentives to come to the US. But that is unlikely now--too bad. What's up with Nathaniel now, he'd lost two straight races? He was spectacular winning his prior races and it seemed that no one was not going to beat him this year, but he fell to earth in just a month and a half. How things can change dramatically and I'm beginning to think that the air from this continent has gotton blown over to Europe by Hurricane Issac. The good news is that Snow Fairy is coming to the US this fall and maybe a couple more--namely Camelot and Moonlight Cloud--would join Snow Fairy on the flight here this fall for the BC races. That would be something to look forward to.