Snow Fairy followed up her victory in the Investec Oaks (Eng-I) with a scintillating performance in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) at the Curragh July 18, powering home to win by eight lengths.
Sent off as the 7-2 second choice in the field of 15, Snow Fairy was settled in mid-division by jockey Ryan Moore as Ice Empress, one of five Aidan O’Brien-trained runners, shot to the front and set a swift early pace. Akdarena followed in second, with Lady Lupus and Meeznah tracking in third and fourth, respectively.
The field remained unchanged through the early stages of the race, with many of the major contenders, including Snow Fairy and favored Hibaayeb, content to lay well off the pace. The complexion of the race quickly began to change as the field entered the home straight when the rapid early pace began to take its toll on the front runners.
Ryan Moore had Snow Fairy in a perfect spot, having moved her up into third by the time the field rounded the final bend for home. With just over two furlongs to go, Moore asked for more and Snow Fairy flew past Ice Empress and Lady Lupus to take command of the race.
Snow Fairy drew off in the final furlong to win easily under a hand ride. Godolphin’s Miss Jean Brodie got up for second, three-quarters of a length in front of Lady Lupus. Hibaayeb was never a factor and finished last.
Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:34.80 over a course listed as good to yielding.
Winning trainer Ed Dunlop told Racing Post afterward: “We came here very confident of a good run as she’d definitely improved since Epsom, but we then became very worried when the rain came. She won really well and is a filly with a huge heart.
“She might go to the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I),” Dunlop continued. “I was successful in persuading her owner to supplement her for this and the Epsom Oaks, so I might try again for the Breeders’ Cup.”
Snow Fairy is owned by Cristina Patino, who races in the name Anamoine Limited. The bay filly is a 3-year-old daughter of Intikhab out of Woodland Dream, by Charnwood Forest. She was bred in Ireland by her owner under the banner of Wildflower Overseas Holdings, Inc.