Snow Fairy: completed back-to-back QEII Cup wins in Japan on SundayPICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi
Super Snow Fairy strikes again in QEII Cup
Report: Japan, Sunday
Kyoto: Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (Grade 1) 1m3f, turf, 3yo+ f/m
SNOW FAIRY (Ed Dunlop/Ryan Moore) completed back-to-back victories with a breathtaking performance under a truly brilliant ride to win the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup in Japan.
Sent off 17-10 favourite from the outside gate in an 18-runner field, the four-year-old looked to have no chance as they turned for home before bursting through horses to score by a neck over Aventura with Apapane third.
William Haggas's Oaks winner Dancing Rain was never a factor before finishing 16th of the 18 runners in the 177 million yen (£1.44m) feature.
Snow Fairy, placed in the British and Irish Champion Stakes and Arc on her last three outings, is likely to head to Sha Tin for next month's Hong Kong International meeting, where she will run in either the Cup, a race she won last year, or the Vase.
The popular daughter of Intikhab, who carries the colours of Anamoine Limited, was well adrift of tearaway leader Shimmei Fuji as they turned for home but at least Ryan Moore had got her across to the rail, albeit close to the tail end of the field.
She still had an enormous amount to do as the leader was swamped by Japanese stars Aventura and Apapane - both of them Classic winners - but Moore found a gap between horses and Snow Fairy powered home to overwhelm her rivals.
A thrilling victory provided rich compensation for trainer Ed Dunlop, who last week suffered an agonising defeat with Red Cadeaux in the Melbourne Cup.
"Snow Fairy is a truly unbelievable filly and what a ride," said Dunlop, speaking on his website.
"I'm very proud of my staff, and I mustn't forget my jockey, Ryan Moore, who has ridden her five times and won five Group ones on her. I shouldn't think many jockeys have done that with any horse, ever."
Ed Dunlop: praised "amazing run"PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Dunlop added: "It did not look possible for her to win two furlongs out and we had virtuallygiven up but Ryan said that though she probably needed the race after that interrupted preparation she took off in the last 200 metres and it was the most amazing run.
"It is almost unheard of for any European horse to come to Japan and win a back-to-back Group 1s but to do it from the 18 stall following such a difficult preparation is testimony to Snow Fairy's extraordinary ability. She has such a terrific turn of foot."
Dunlop has Red Cadeaux primed forthe Hong Kong Vase on December 11 when he could meet Snow Fairy.
"We have ruled out any thoughts of staying over for the Japan Cup," said the trainer, who also confirmed Snow Fairy will race as a five-year-old next term.
"She has had a hard enough race here and Tokyo will come too quick, so we will go on to Sha Tin and decide when we get there whether we defend our title in the Hong Kong Cup or go instead for the Vase."
Although Snow Fairy had won by four lengths in 2010, this neck success was no less stunning. "Last year we had a nice draw at six," said Moore.
"This year out in 18, we would have wanted to be much closer to the pace but theywent very hard so we had to just get in and do the race as we found it.
"I had to take a chance as I didn't want to go round horses and luckily it opened up - she quickened up very well, and she won as she always does. She tries very hard and she has class. It's always very nice to win any big race in Japan."