“I thought she had no chance when we were turning in,” winning rider Ryan
“She did what we thought she could, and she surpassed it.”
“She’s not the biggest filly in the world, but she’s got the biggest heart,”
Dunlop said of his sophomore, who has now won Group 1 races in four countries
this year — the Oaks (Eng-G1), Irish Oaks (Ire-G1) and Queen Elizabeth II
Commemorative Cup (Jpn-G1) prior to her Hong Kong heroics.
The first two came at 1 1/2 miles, the latter at 1 3/8 miles, and the Cup was
held at about 1 1/4 miles, illustrating Snow Fairy’s range at the highest level.
Up front, Hong Kong veteran Packing Winner (Zabeel) dictated through steady
In the stretch, a cavalry charge ensued as Stacelita, fellow French contender
Meanwhile, Irian was traveling best of all those racing in line abreast, and
his sharp turn of foot propelled him clear of the pack. That move that just
might have been the winning one in most years, but it wasn’t enough to counter
Snow Fairy. Bursting onto the scene in time, Snow Fairy overhauled Irian in
ultimately convincing fashion to complete 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) in
2:02 4/5. She ranks as only the second three-year-old filly to beat older males
in the Cup, joining Alexander Goldrun (2004).
“He’s run a super race again,” jockey Brett Prebble said of Irian. “It’s
“He’s a very brave horse,” rider Olivier Doleuze said of Packing Winner.
Olivier Peslier was regretful of how things panned out for Vision D’Etat in
“He missed the start, and I had to settle in an awkward position,” Peslier
Planteur was about another neck away in fifth, ahead of a somewhat unlucky
Snow Fairy’s record now stands at 13-6-2-2 with approximately $4.4 million in
earnings (including her bonus from winning the QEII). The bay broke her maiden on the Polytrack at Lingfield in her second
career start last summer. Narrowly beaten under the top weight of 133 pounds in
a Newmarket nursery next time out, Snow Fairy went on to finish fourth in the
Sweet Solera S. (Eng-G3) and a near-miss third in the Prestige S. (Eng-G3). She
concluded her juvenile season with an uncharacteristic ninth on soft ground in
the Radley S., and she was not entered in the Oaks.
After opening 2010 with an impressive three-length decision in the May 19
Bred in Ireland under the auspices of Patino’s
Windflower Overseas Holdings, Snow Fairy was bought back for a mere €1,800 as a
yearling at Tattersalls Ireland in December 2008, with BBA Ireland signing the
ticket on her breeder’s behalf. She is the first foal from the winning Charnwood
Forest (Ire) mare Woodland Dream (Ire), who is a half-sister to German Group 3
victor Big Bad Bob (Bob Back). Further back, this is the family of multiple
Group 3 winner Elusive Pimpernel, runner-up in last year’s Racing Post Trophy
(Eng-G1) and sidelined since his fifth in the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1), as
well as Group 3 victor Palavicini (Giant’s Causeway).
“Hopefully she’ll come back for this race again next year because she’s going
to stay in training as a four-year-old,” Dunlop said.