Curragh setting for next chapter in Fairy's tale

Dunlop's rags-to-riches Oaks winner ready to renew rivalry with Epsom victims in Irish equivalent

Every shake of the kaleidoscope has brought a fresh pattern to the season's hierarchy among three-year-old filly milers, with a different horse first past the post in each of the Group One races in the division. On Sunday their middle-distance equivalents will square up in the Irish Oaks, a last chance to establish their own pecking order before they face their elders.

The field for the Curragh Classic will include the first three home in the Epsom original, with the connections of the winner, Snow Fairy, hazarding a €42,500 (about £36,700) late entry fee to prove that their girl is the best.

A year ago Snow Fairy was preparing for a run in a juvenile handicap and, though she progressed to better company before the end of her campaign, she had been given no fancy long-term entries.

But she certainly justified the first gamble by her trainer, Ed Dunlop, and owner-breeder, Cristina Patino, who paid £20,000 to add her to the Oaks line-up. She rewarded their faith tenfold with the top prize of £208,119, gained after a daring ride by Ryan Moore brought her home by a neck from Meeznah.

Snow Fairy has not only earned her entry fees but her place among the elite and at stake on Sunday is another quarter of a million or so, plus the bragging rights of becoming only the 13th filly to complete the English-Irish double in the 115 years both races have been run. Dunlop, whose brilliant charge Ouija Board was the 10th six years ago, reports his current heroine ready for the fray after sparking under the reigning champion jockey, who will be in the saddle again on Sunday, in her latest work.

"She had an easy time for 10 days after Epsom," Dunlop said yesterday, "but she is back in the swing of it now and Ryan was very pleased with her when he rode her this morning. She's not the biggest of fillies, but she has developed physically and she looks stronger. She's a very tough filly and I'm happier with her now than I was before Epsom.

"The Curragh is a very different test from Epsom, but I don't think it will disadvantage her in any way. The only negative might be if the rain comes, it might bring stamina doubts into play. But I stand by the fact that she has shown she can quicken."

Dunlop's Newmarket neighbour David Lanigan, trainer of Meeznah, is relishing the rematch, though with no complacency. The rangy daughter of Dynaformer was much the callower of the pair at Epsom – the Classic was only her fourth outing – and she is likely to be better suited by the Curragh's much gentler, wider contours than the Surrey switchback, but the forecast rain may also militate against her.

"Everything has gone to plan so far since the Oaks," Lanigan said yesterday. "But I think this one looks a tougher race. You don't get any Group Ones easily and all we can do is get her there in the best shape we can, and then it's up to the gods."

The Oaks third Remember When, a disappointing fourth in open-age company since Epsom, heads six Aidan O'Brien entries at yesterday's stage. Snow Fairy is favourite at 3-1, with Meeznah second choice in front of Godolphin's Hibaayeb, winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes. Both she and her Royal Ascot victim Eldalil, representing Hamdan Al Maktoum and Sir Michael Stoute, were also supplemented for Sunday's contest.

The next Group One kudos up for grabs on the European circuit also has the distinction of being the only such prize at an evening meeting. The Bastille Day celebrations in the French capital include the Longchamp fireworks of tonight's Grand Prix de Paris, a race with more right than any to be described as the "French Derby" since the Prix du Jockey-Club was shamefully abbreviated five years ago from 12 furlongs to 10.

The horse who may yet emerge as his country's best middle-distance three-year-old, the Elie Lellouche-trained Planteur, was taken off his feet when second at Chantilly and, with the progressive Goldwaki, leads the home defence against the sole raider, Ballydoyle's Jan Vermeer, already fourth in one Derby, at Epsom, and third in another, at the Curragh.

At home, today is make-or-break day for the flamboyant owner and professional gambler Harry Findlay, whose appeal against the severity of a six-month ban for breaching the sport's rules by laying his own horses will be heard at the British Horseracing Authority's headquarters in London.

Turf account:

Sue Montgomery's nap

Allannah Abu (4.20 Catterick) Well-bred filly who needs a victory to enhance her paddock value and showed last time that this is her trip and she is progressing within her own limits.

Next best

Shianda (3.00 Lingfield) Today's drop in her ratings and trip may do the trick.

One to watch

Grey Bunting (B W Hills) remains on a workable mark after chasing home an improver last time and should be seen to good effect between 10 and 12 furlongs with a little ease in the ground.

Where the money's going

Totesport have Majestic Concorde as 9-1 favourite for the Galway Plate on 28 July.

Chris McGrath's nap

Caldermud (5.00 Lingfield)

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
football
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

Biology Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently recruiting...

.NET Developer / Web Developer / Software Developer - £37,000

£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

Biology Teacher

Main Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Biology Teacher to A Level - Female...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering