Snow Fairy: Royal Ascot is the new aim after missing the Sheema ClassicPICTURE: Hong Kong Jockey Club
No Sheema Classic for Snow Fairy after setback
SNOW FAIRY is out of the Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night at Meydan on Saturday with a minor leg injury.
Trained by Ed Dunlop for owner Cristina Patino, Snow Fairy took the Flat season by storm last year with four Group 1 victories including both the Investec Oaks and Darley Irish Oaks.
The daughter of Intikhab then jetted out to the Far East where she collected the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup and Hong King Cup showing a devastating turn of foot on both occassions.
However, Dunlop said on Sunday: "She pulled out to exercise this morning and was found to be slightly lame on her right fore.
"The vets did extensive tests and found minor bone damage on the right cannonbone and, while not a serious injury, it has obviously come at the wrong time for her to be able to run in Dubai."
Ed Dunlop: "It is disappointing"PICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Snow Fairy's performances had prompted connections to consider a shot at the world's richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup, before the Sheema Classic was finally chosen and she was Blue Square's 9-4 favourite for the $5m contest.
The Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, which Dunlop won with another globetrotting filly Ouija Board in 2006, is the new aim for the four-year-old and the trainer added: "It is a great shame, but the good thing is that the injury is not considered significant and is not career threatening.
"The vets have told us that it would be safe to travel, so Snow Fairy will fly home soon and she will then have two weeks' box rest before we start all over again. She could well be back for Royal Ascot (Prince of Wales's Stakes).
"It is disappointing for everyone, especially the owner and coming so close to the race we have no option but to withdraw the filly."
Rewilding, third in the Investec Derby last season and not seen since disappointing as favourite for the Ladbrokes St Leger, is the new 9-4 favourite for the Sheema Classic with Blue Square.
Snow Fairy's defection means that South African Derby winner Irish Flame, runner-up to Mike de Kock-trained stable companion Bold Silvano in the Durban July, gets a run in the Sheema Classic.
The four-year-old has already been beaten three times after three defeats at the Meydan Carnival this year.
Dubai Sheema Classic
Blue Square: 9-4 Rewilding, 3 Dangerous Midge, 7 Rulership, 9 Laaheb, 10 Golden Sword, Redwood, 20 bar