Snowfall bids for a second Classic in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh – with Aidan O’Brien pleased the public is seeing what he has long witnessed from her on the Ballydoyle gallops.
In seven runs as a juvenile, the daughter of Deep Impact managed just one victory – in a maiden at the Curragh – but O’Brien rated her highly enough to run her in four Group races, including two at the top level.
She finished out of the money in all of them, but it has been a completely different story this season.
On her reappearance at York in the Musidora, Snowfall made all of the running for a comfortable success – before Frankie Dettori took the ride in the Oaks, with Ryan Moore preferring Santa Barbara.
Of all Dettori’s many Group One successes, he has never ridden an easier winner than Snowfall – who came home 16 lengths clear.
“We were delighted with her at Epsom,” said O’Brien.
“She’s had a lovely run at York in the Musidora – and that set her up nicely for Epsom, obviously.
“Last year she was always showing a lot at home – that’s why she was running in all those good races – but obviously she has got stronger over the winter.
“Maybe she was a little bit weak or something last year, but we always liked what we saw at home.
“I know she’s been winning on soft ground, but we always thought that nice ground would suit her.”
Only eight go to post on Saturday – and O’Brien provides half the field, with Willow, Divinely and La Joconde completing his team.
“Willow won a nice trial last time out and she’s in good form – we’ve been happy with her since Naas,” he said.
“Divinely had a lovely run around Epsom and a nice run at Ascot, and she seems to have been in good form since.
“La Joconde won her maiden last time out, and she seems to be in good form as well.”
Donnacha O’Brien’s Nicest is bred for the job, out of an Irish Oaks winner Chicquita, while Joseph O’Brien is represented by Mariesque.
Ger Lyons runs Party House, with Fozzy Stack’s Ahandfulofsummers completing the field.
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