Friday, April 20, 2012

Arc de Triomphe the target again for brilliant Snow Fairy

Ed Dunlop’s tremendously popular Snow Fairy is likely to have a repeat bid for the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, in October, at the top of her agenda, once again, having run so well in last year’s renewal, when a fast-finish third to the German star, Danedream, writes Elliot Slater.

Although still on the ‘easy list’, after sustaining a leg injury whilst preparing to defend the Hong Kong Cup title, the year before, the daughter of Intikhab is reported to be progressing as expected, and should return to the fray sometime in the summer for a similar campaign to last term.

She needed the run when fourth in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, before running two mighty races to chase home Midday in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. She then went down with all guns blazing, when only narrowly failing to peg back the massive So You Think in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, in September.

After failing to get the best of runs  under Frankie Dettori, the five-year-old came flying through to finish a tremendous third at Longchamp, before again running very well indeed when a close third to Cirrus des Aigles in the Champion Stakes at Ascot, a few weeks later. 

Winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto in 2010, following her victories in both the Epsom and Irish Oaks, that term, Snow Fairy returned to Japan and produced a sensational late burst to pass a dozen rivals inside the final furlong.

The win was her second in as many years. She was foiled in her bid to win in Hong King for the second successive year, by her training setback.

Dunlop appears convinced that all the old ability is there, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe would rarely have had a more popular winner, should the outstanding filly return to Paris in glory, in October. However, Frankel is currently the favourite for the title in Arc de Triomphe betting.

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