Snow Fairy Qualifies for Breeders' Cup Turf following Irish Champion Stakes Victory
LEOPARDSTOWN, IRELAND (September 8, 2012) - Anamoine Ltd’s sensational 5-year-old mare Snow Fairy (IRE) defeated the favored Nathaniel (IRE) by 1 1/4 lengths, with St. Nicholas Abbey (IRE) third, in Saturday's 1 1/2 mile Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes (G1) at Leopardstown and earned an automatic berth into the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a global series of 73 stakes races whose winners earn automatic starting positions into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Nov. 2-3.
Under the enhancements of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, if Snow Fairy is nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by Oct. 22, Breeders’ Cup Limited will pay the US$90,000 in entry fees and provide a US$20,000 travel allowance for her to start in the Turf, which will be run at 1 1/2 miles.
Trained by Ed Dunlop and ridden by Frankie Dettori, Snow Fairy passed the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (G1) winning 4-year-old Nathaniel with about one sixteenth of a mile remaining and held off the fast closing St. Nicholas Abbey, the defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Champion, to win her second race in as many starts this year, following nine months of recovery from a tendon injury.
“To beat some of the best colts around and to take the track record after having a tendon injury, this has to be her best performance,” said Dunlop to the Racing Post. "Looking ahead we'll take it one step at a time. She's in the Champion Stakes and the Arc and I'd love to take her to the Breeders' Cup."
Dunlop trained the great mare Ouija Board to victories in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) in 2004 and 2006.
Frankie Dettori, winning his fifth Irish Champion Stakes, said: "Full credit goes to Ed and the team for getting her back after such a serious injury. She retains all her class and ability and it was just lovely to be on her again.”
Snow Fairy, second in last year’s Irish Champion Stakes to So You Think (NZ), won her ninth race in 21 starts in a globetrotting career, which has included Group One victories Japan, Hong Kong, England, France and Ireland. Following her victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) in Kyoto, Japan last November, Snow Fairy did not race again until she won the Darley Prix Jean Romanet (G1) at Deauville on Aug.19.
Snow Fairy joins seven other horses who have qualified for the Turf thus far in 2012: Al Qasr, who won the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo (G1) at San Isidro in Argentina; Orfevre (JPN), winner of the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) in Japan; Meandre (FR), winner of the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) in France; Turbo Compressor, winner of the UN Stakes (GI) at Monmouth Park in the U.S.; Danedream, winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Ascot in England; Little Mike, winner of the Arlington Million (GI) at Arlington Park in the U.S and Casino Host, who won the Del Mar Handicap (GII) at Del Mar in the U.S.