Twenty thousand pounds is a lot of money to pay to enter a race. But Snow Fairy proved it absolutely worthwhile when she won the Investec Oaks today, giving jockey Ryan Moore a first Classic in the process.
The dark bay filly, a 9-1 chance, came from well off the pace with a late burst and held off the David Lanigan-trained Meeznah to win by a neck. Third was Remember When, trained by Aidan O’Brien, and fourth was Rumoush.
Snow Fairy, by Inktihab out of a Charnwood Forest mare, is owned and bred by Cristina Patino, and it was she who suggested to trainer Ed Dunlop that the filly be supplemented for the Oaks after she won a Listed race at Goodwood last month. Mrs Patino has most of her horses with Ed Dunlop’s father, John, but she has one each with Ed and his brother Harry, who also trains.
It was Ed Dunlop’s second Oaks victory after Ouija Board’s memorable win in 2004.
“I have lost my voice!” said Ed. “We had doubts about Snow Fairy staying, but we knew she was very tough and that she can quicken, which she showed today. The whole thing is a bit of a fairytale.”
Last year’s Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory took the Investec Coronation Cup under Johnny Murtagh, beating the 2009 Oaks winner Sariska, trained by Horse & Hound columnist Michael Bell, into second.
Stay up to date with all the action from Epsom on Horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss next Thursday’s magazine for a special report, analysis and comment on the Classic meeting