Snow sees off rivals
Dunlop mare just Champion
Last Updated: September 8, 2012 7:23pm
Snow Fairy: Leopardstown heroine
The globetrotting Snow Fairy (15-8) was an impressive winner of the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes under Frankie Dettori.
Ed Dunlop's mare was always travelling well in the Group 1 contest, and having sensibly elected to sit off the breakneck pace that had been set by Daddy Long Legs, Dettori asked her for a response with over two to travel, and she delivered instantly.
Market leader, Nathaniel had pulled hard in the early stages, and had his chance, but he was simply overpowered by a better rival on the day.
St Nicholas Abbey, who travelled as well as the front pair, finished well held in third.
Dettori, winning his fifth Irish Champion, said: "Usually I don't notice these things, but I could hear the crowd really get behind her and the roar when she crossed the line.
"The crowd at Leopardstown are fantastic. I've had some great days here.
"It's all about the filly, she's so popular. Everyone was delighted to see her win like that in a fighting finish. She got a tremendous cheer.
"She's a popular as Kauto Star over jumps and for racing we need superstars like that. She's small but she comes with a big punch!
"All the credit goes to Ed and the team for bringing her back after her serious injury, this race has been won by some great champions and she is one of them.
"It has been an honour to be on her again. Ryan said be patient and she'll quicken when you ask her. Ryan has been a gentleman, a great help."
Sky Bet made Snow Fairy an 8-1 (from 14-1) chance for the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp with Nathaniel eased to the same price having been offered previously at 6-1.
Simply the best
Dunlop said: "I've lost my voice. I'm relieved for the horse more than anything, the owner and for Frankie who's obviously now won on her.
"Ryan Moore has won six out of six on her, so Frankie needed that. This filly is simply unbelievable."
Asked where the win stood among his career achievements, Dunlop said: "No disrespect to the others, but I think this is the best - to beat some of the best colts around and to break the track record, coming back from a major tendon injury, it doesn't get better than this.
"She showed an amazing turn of foot again. This is the third time I have had a go at this race, so this is very nice on my CV.
"A lot of her rehabilitation from injury was done here (Ireland) and I can't tell you how many people have helped us. It doesn't get much sweeter."
On future plans, Dunlop said: "We've always said this year we will take each race at a time after the injury she has had.
"She seems fine after the race, she's in the Arc, she's in the Champion Stakes - obviously Frankel is in that and that is a different level entirely.
"We'll see. I've said before I'd like to go to the Breeders' Cup, she hasn't done that and I'd love to take her to America and maybe win in a sixth country."