Champion English mare Snow Fairy retired

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The world’s number one race mare Snow Fairy has booked a date with Irish stallion Elusive Pimpernel following the announcement of her retirement by prominent Newmarket trainer Ed Dunlopyesterday.

Black Caviar

Snow Fairy was rated 124, one point ahead of Australian champion Black Caviar. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Dunlop had no choice but to call an end to the racing career of Snow Fairy after the mare aggravated an old tendon injury during track work on Tuesday morning.

“It is with much sadness that a decision was made this morning to retire Snow Fairy,” Dunlop said.

“Unfortunately after a routine piece of fast work she was found to have re-injured her near fore tendon, which has caused her problems in the last two years.”

Snow Fairy who won six Group 1s in four different countries will be retained by owner Cristina Patino and after being mated with Elusive Pimpernel will go to Islanmore Stud in Limerick via Dunlop’s Newmarket complex.

“We’ve had an unbelievable roll. It’s come to an end, but that’s the way it happens. We’ve had some fun along the way,” said Patrick Cooper, racing manager for Cristina Patino.

“She will go to Elusive Pimpernel. He is Mrs Patino’s horse and was a very good two-year-old a few seasons back. She will visit him. That will be next year. She will just be let down. She will stay with Ed for a little while then she will come down to Islanmore Stud in Limerick.”

Dunlop has had to nurse Snow Fairy back to health on several occasions after suffering serious injuries and congratulated Mrs Patino for her support and patience.

“I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Mrs Patino for all she has done, she has been the most wonderful owner of a truly amazing horse,” Dunlop said.

“Most owners would have retired her a lot sooner than she did and if this had been the case she would not have won the Irish Champion Stakes last year, which was without doubt her greatest performance.

“I would also like to thank all of my staff who have looked after her, ridden her and travelled her around the world. She remains the only international horse to have won two Group Ones in Japan. Snow Fairy will return to Ireland, where I hope she will have a fantastic life as a broodmare.”

Snow Fairy was the winner of almost £4m in prizemoney, recording six Group 1 victories across four nations, including an incredible two wins in Japan, which is a very high achievement for an international visitor.

Snow Fairy won back to back Group 1 US$2m Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cups (1 mile, 3 furlongs) for fillies and mares at Kyoto in Japan in 2010 and 2011 and also collected two Oaks in 2010, the Group 1 £400,000 Investec Oaks (11 mile, 4 furlongs) at Epsom in England and the Group 1 €400,000 Darley Irish Oaks (1 mile, 4 furlongs) at the Curragh in Ireland.

She was also successful in Hong Kong, taking out the Group 1 HK$22m Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin at the end of 2010.

And Snow Fairy’s last racetrack appearance saw the great mare score a comfortable win over Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey in the Group 1 €750,000 Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Leopardstown in Ireland in September 2012 when ridden by Frankie Dettori.

Champion English jockey Ryan Moore was aboard Snow Fairy for her other five Group 1 wins and also praised the mare for her monumental achievements.

“She had a lot of class, but she was really a fighter more than anything. She had a fantastic will to win and just wanted to please you,” Moore said.

“I would say of all my wins on her, my favourite was when she won in Hong Kong. She was very consistent and her record speaks for itself.”

In the last list of International World Rating Racehorse Rankings, Snow Fairy was rated the best race mare at 124, just in front of Australia’s undefeated champion mare Black Caviar who had a rating of 123.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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