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Snow Fairy Dazzles in Irish Champion Stakes
08/09/12

1 Snow Fairy 15/8
2 Nathaniel 13/8F
3 St Nicholas Abbey 3/1
6 ran Distances: 1¼l, ¾l, 5½l
TIME 2m 0.92s (fast by 2.08s)

Snow Fairy gained an admirable success over Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

Snow Fairy
© Racehorse Photos

Snow Fairy

Ed Dunlop's globe-trotting mare settled nicely for Frankie Dettori and always looked to have Nathaniel covered as John Gosden's colt was driven to overhaul pacemaker Daddy Long Legs rounding the bend into the straight.

Nathaniel hit the front, but Snow Fairy (15-8) quickened smoothly to take closer order and was always on top as the line approached. St Nicholas Abbey ran a gallant race as he tried to close in third.

Dettori, who had made the dash to the Dublin track in a helicopter from Haydock with Nathaniel's jockey William Buick, was deputising on Snow Fairy for the injured Ryan Moore. He had also ridden Snow Fairy 12 months ago, when she found only So You Think too good.

The Italian's delight was clear as he performed his famous flying dismount, much to the delight of the crowds surrounding the winner's enclosure.

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 as 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."

Dunlop said: "I've lost my voice. I'm relieved for the horse more than anything, the owner and for Frankie, who's 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, the trainer went on: "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."

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