x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

French connection for Dunlop and Snow Fairy

The trainer decides to let Snow Fairy compete in Paris, with Frankie Dettori given a ride at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Ryan Moore rode Snow Fairy, above, to the win in the Darley Irish Oaks at Curragh Racecouse. Frankie Dettori will be aboard for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France.
Ryan Moore rode Snow Fairy, above, to the win in the Darley Irish Oaks at Curragh Racecouse. Frankie Dettori will be aboard for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France.

Snow Fairy is taking the train from England to Paris on Friday after Ed Dunlop, her trainer, agreed to her participation in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Meandre, Masked Marvel and Danedream will also run in Europe's middle-distance championship after connections agreed yesterday to put up €100,000 (Dh500,703) to supplement their entries into the Group 1 contest.

Snow Fairy has not won in Europe this year in three runs, but Dunlop was bullish about her chances on the drying going at Longchamp.

"The ground will be just right for her, said Dunlop. "The stats might suggest she is better when she travels abroad but she's run well on her two starts in England this year."

Although France Galop increased the maximum-field safety limit to 25 runners, only 16 will line up for this year's race.

Friday's post-position draw will be crucial. Only Sakhee and Dalakhani have managed to win the race drawn in the top half of the gate in the past decade.

Frankie Dettori has been given the ride on Snow Fairy and Dunlop will wait until the morning of the race before hatching a plan with the Italian jockey.

"I'm not going to tell him what to do," he said. "He has won three Arcs. We'll see where we are drawn, see where the others are drawn and go from there."

Snow Fairy's four Group 1 victories have all come in fields with 13 runners or more in them, but Dunlop attributed that more to pace rather than the tough attitude of his filly.

"She hasn't run over 12 furlongs since last year's Yorkshire Oaks," he said. "The trip should not be a concern. When there are a lot of runners they tend to go at a better gallop, which may suit us."

Provided Snow Fairy puts in a good account of herself in France, Dunlop has once again mapped out an international autumn programme for his four year old.

He has pencilled in a return to Japan to defend her crown in the Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Cup at Kyoto. "Although it is a long way off we haven't entirely ruled out the Sheema Classic [during the Dubai World Cup Night in March], either," he said.

 

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