Snow Fairy: won the Irish Champion Stakes on her last startPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Snow Fairy retired after glittering career
SNOW FAIRY, the globetrotting supermare who captured the hearts of racing fans worldwide by winning six top-level races in four different countries, has been retired.
The Cristina Patino-owned six-year-old, whose first Group 1 success came in the 2010 Investec Oaks, bounced back from a catalogue of setbacks to maintain her status at the highest level and her overwhelming popularity in the sport.
Having missed Royal Ascot last month, Snow Fairy aggravated an old injury on Tuesday morning and trainer Ed Dunlop decided to call time of her sensational career, which harvested total earnings of £3,911,804.
"It is with much sadness that a decision was made this morning to retire Snow Fairy," Dunlop revealed in a statement.
"Unfortunately after a routine piece of fast work today she was found to have re-injured her near fore tendon, which has caused her problems in the last two years.
"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."
Snow Fairy was last seen defeating Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey to win the Irish Champion Stakes last September.
Dunlop added: "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 1s in Japan."
Ed Dunlop: sad to retire Snow FairyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Bought back for just €1,800 by her owner-breeder after she failed to raise any interest at the sales back in 2008, Snow Fairy is one of racing's great rags-to-riches stories.
Although she showed decent form as a juvenile, it was as a three-year-old she really thrived, following up her Oaks success, a race she had to be supplemented for, in the Irish equivalent and capping a momentous 2010 campaign with further big-race victories in Japan and Hong Kong.
Her 2011 season was delayed by injury but finished with the successful defence of her Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup crown at Kyoto.
The following term, which proved to be her last, started with victory in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville, before she was subsequently disqualified after a banned substance was found in her sample.
However, her success at Leopardstown the following month proved to be a suitable end to her distinguished career which saw her win eight of her 21 starts and be placed a further eight times.
Snow Fairy will take up broodmare duties in Ireland where she is due to be covered by another Patino homebred Elusive Pimpernel.