The tremendously popular Ed Dunlop-trained mare, Snow Fairy, may have her belated first outing of the 2012 campaign in the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks at the York Ebor Festival meeting on August 23, writes Elliot Slater.
Dunlop reports his rags-to-riches daughter of Intikhab to have been back in full work for some weeks, and that she has been pleasing connections in particular with her recent work on the Newmarket gallops.
Snow Fairy hasn’t seen a racecourse since producing a stunning turn of foot to come from very nearly last to first to land the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto in Japan in December, for the second successive year.
After running with tremendous credit in all starts, last term, including finishing in the money in the Irish Champion Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and the Qipco Champion Stakes at Newmarket in October, the 1800 euro yearling purchase was certainly not winning out of turn in the Far East.
Dunlop will have to make a decision as to whether to start Snow Fairy off in the Yorkshire Oaks or take her across to France for an alternative first engagement of the season in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville four days earlier.
Assuming she comes back safe and sound from her seasonal bow (having been on the sidelines since picking up an injury, when preparing to follow her Japanese heroics with a follow-up bid for the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin), the five-year-old is expected to follow a similar autumn campaign to last term.
The Champion Stakes is likely to be her final run in Britain before heading East once again in search of more astonishing prize money.