'Fairy'-Tale Finish in Prix Jean Romanet
The 5-year-old mare by Intikhab had been beset with injuries this season and as a result, had not started since winning the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (Jpn-I) in November. Trainer Ed Dunlop had been very patient with his stable star and had Snow Fairy primed for a top performance at Deauville. She is owned by Cristina Patino, who races in the name of Anamoine Limited.
A star-studded field of nine fillies and mares went to the post in the Romanet, with five group I winners in the lineup. In addition to Snow Fairy, the red-hot team of John Gosden and William Buick were represented by Izzi Top, winner of the Barclays Bank Ireland Pretty Polly Stakes (Ire-I); Juddmonte Farm and Sir Henry Cecil sent out 2011 Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I) winner Timepiece; Freddy Head had out Qatar Prix Vermeille (Fr-I) winner Galikova; and trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre had the 2012 Falmouth winner, Giofra, in the cast.
At the start, Tempura that went to the front to set the pace. She was tracked closely by her stablemate, Galikova, in second, with Timepiece sitting just off her in third. Ryan Moore was content to let Snow Fairy settle at the back of the field along with Izzi Top.
As the field entered the final two furlongs, as several fillies made their bids for the lead. The first to charge to the front was Galikova, who assumed the lead from her stablemate. Jockey Olivier Peslier had her in front for few strides until they were joined by Timepiece and Tom Queally.
Snow Fairy and Izzi Top were flying from the back of the pack and soon joined the leaders with just over a furlong to run. In the final eighth of a mile it was anyone's race as the four fillies charged to the wire.
At the finish it was Snow Fairy that edged away for the victory, with Izzi Top settling for second. It was a half-length back to Galikova in third, with Timepiece just a short head back in fourth.
The final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:06.30 over a good turf course.
A delighted Dunlop said: "This has to be one of the biggest highlights of my career, it's unbelievable. We'll wait to see how she comes out of this before we make a plan, but she's in the Irish Champion, the Arc, everything."
Snow Fairy remains perfect under Ryan Moore, notching six group I victories when ridden by the champion jockey.
The bay mare is out of Woodland Dream, by Charnwood Forest. Snow Fairy was bred in Ireland by her owner, under the name of Wildflower Overseas Holdings, Inc.
Copyright © 2013 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.