Darley Irish Oaks:Snowy Fairy goes for double
Epsom heroine Snowy Fairy bids to complete a Classic double in tomorrow’s Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
Classy filly: Snow Fairy gets up on the inside to win the Oaks at Epsom and now has the Irish Oaks in her sights at the Curragh tomorrow
Ed Dunlop's filly showed tremendous acceleration to win the English Oaks last month and will once again lock horns with the runner-up Meeznah, trained by David Lanigan.
Joining that pair on the trip from Britain are the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Eldalil, Ralph Beckett's Desert Sage and the Godolphin pair of Hibaayeb and Miss Jean Brodie.
Aidan O'Brien's Epsom third Remember When is joined by stablemates Awe Inspiring, Dance On By, Ice Empress and Lady Lupus.
Akdarena, Brazilian Beauty, Crystal Gal, King's Vintage and French filly Rosanara complete the line-up.
Rosanara is still without a win in 2010 but she was beaten just a length in the French 1000 Guineas and then chased home smart stablemate Sarafina in the French Oaks.
As she was at Epsom, Snow Fairy has once again had to be supplemented.
Dunlop has been pleased with her subsequent homework but admits to being slightly surprised by the size of the field.
“This has been the plan since Epsom and she is on her way over to Ireland,” said Dunlop.
“I'm happy enough being in stall nine as we're in the middle but I have to say I didn't expect 16 runners.
“She's in good form and we're very happy with her, so we'll just have to see how we get on.
“I'm sure there'll be a good pace and now we know how many runners there are and where we're drawn, we can start to talk about what we're going to do.
“It's good ground and good to soft in the straight. They had quite a lot of rain on Thursday night but they apparently needed that.
“There is a little bit more forecast on Saturday night but the Curragh does dry out very fast and I think there are plenty of horses who wouldn't want it too soft.
“We'll just keep our fingers crossed they don't get a great deal more rain.
“We've had our day at Epsom and if we get another one it would be great.
“We supplemented to win the Oaks and she did it, so she's an English Classic winner now.
“We've supplemented twice before to win the Irish Oaks (Lailani and Ouija Board) and whether we can do it a third time is in the lap of the gods.”
Meeznah has just a neck to make up on Snow Fairy from their Epsom clash but Lanigan is under no illusions about the task in hand.
“She's flying out today and she seems in good form, so we'll see how we get on,” said Lanigan.
“I don't think anyone would want much more rain than we've already had. We just hope it's good Flat racing ground so it's fair for everybody.
“Hopefully our filly has improved since Epsom and learnt from the experience she got there.
“She's very straightforward to train and we'll know a lot more after the race, so hopefully she goes there and puts up a good performance.
“Snow Fairy is a very good filly. She's an Oaks winner and we're not, so we have to improve,” he added.