Snow storms to Oaks double
Snow Fairy and Ryan Moore joined the Darley Irish Oaks roll of honour before 6,155 spectators at The Curragh yesterday to further confound the sceptics who rejected the filly at the sales and allay fears that the rain-soaked ground would scuttle her repeat Classic bid.
Knocked down for a mere 1,800 euro as a yearling at Fairyhouse, the home-bred daughter of Intikhab came up trumps with a vengeance as a supplementary entry again for an Oaks outing to become the 13th filly to complete the Epsom-Curragh double.
Snow Fairy came late to deny Meeznah in the English version after owner-breeder Cristina Patina had forked out £20,000 for the sortie and she put up 42,500 euro last Tuesday to supplement her once more for the Darley promotion.
The prospect of the weather spoiling the Snow Fairy party yesterday, however, was very much in the thoughts of Newmarket trainer Ed Dunlop, who previously captured the coveted Classic with Lailani (2001) and Ouija Board in 2004.
“We knew this filly had improved from Epsom, has a huge heart and is growing up. But the only time she ran in the soft, at Newbury last October, she couldn't handle it so we were worried beforehand as I would have been quite confident on better ground,” Dunlop said.
“My owner took another plunge with the supplementary fee and it worked out again with Snow Fairy doing it really well out there.
“She's going to get a rest now and then we'll look at a plan similar to Ouija Board — there's the Yorkshire Oaks and France to consider.”
Moore (right) made the Classic breakthrough on Snow Fairy at Epsom before landing the Derby 24 hours later with Workforce and yesterday's maiden victory at this level on Irish soil was equally sweet for Britain's champion jockey.
“She's been very good to me and is a bit of a freak,” the young rider said. “I wasn't happy, though, when she got stopped early on and then wasn't travelling as I'd have liked on the downhill run to the straight. When I got her into gear, though, we arrived there too early really and, considering how much better she is on drier ground, you'd have to say it was a good performance.”
Godolphin's fellow supplementary entry Miss Jean Brodie, which had to be re-shod at the start, kept on best of the well-beaten field for second money to fully justify her inclusion after a Doncaster maiden success and another outsider Lady Lupus ran the race of her life, also for Joseph and Aidan O'Brien, to get the better of a duel with Epsom runner-up Meeznah for third place.
Moore had triumphed as well in the preceding Kilboy Estate Stakes when guiding David Wachman's Latin Love (9/1) through a narrow gap on the far rail over a furlong out to contain rivals Emolous and She's Our Mark.
She's Our Mark's trainer Pat Flynn had better luck later on when Clonmel handicap hurdle winner Mon Champion successfully reverted to the Flat aboard to deny Taralga a repeat victory in the Thalgo Ladies Derby.