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Summer return for Snow Fairy

By Chris McGrath

One of the flat season's most successful globetrotters, Snow Fairy, has made it safely back to her Newmarket base after sustaining an injury in Hong Kong.

While the four-year-old filly is hors de combat, that is judged only a temporary setback and she is set to race again next season.

Snow Fairy, last year's Oaks heroine, has become a public favourite for her talent and determined attitude, in victory and defeat.

She picked up five places in as many ventures in top company in Europe this term — including third places in both the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Champion Stakes 13 days apart — before a second successive success in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kyoto, Japan, last month.

Cristina Patino's homebred, trained by Ed Dunlop, was being prepared for a tilt at Sunday's Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin when she picked up an injury to her left foreleg.

Earlier this year, she hurt her right foreleg in Dubai, a setback which kept her off the track until July, and her reappearance as a five-year-old is similarly not likely to be until the summer.

“Her injury will require a fair amount of time to heal,” said Dunlop yesterday, “but she's been examined by our vet and the decision has been made that she won't be retired.

“Mrs Patino has sportingly decided that she is prepared to give her every chance to return to the racecourse next year.”

Snow Fairy's story is one of rags-to-riches romance; when offered for sale at auction as a yearling, a buyer could not be found and she was taken home.

She has since earned more than £3.5m, including £1.5m this year.

Another of this year's high achievers, Frankel, yesterday added a unique accolade to his cv, becoming the first equine recipient of the discretionary President's Award at the 45th annual Horse Writers' & Photographers' Association lunch in London.

Others recognised included Tony McCoy (for the 13th time), Donald McCain, Sylvestre De Sousa, Sir Henry Cecil and posthumously, Michael Jarvis.

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