A pair of local runners, Irian and Packing Winner, finished second and third but none could stand before the 3-year-old filly who now has won Group 1 events in England, Ireland, Japan and Hong Kong.
With Ryan Moore up for trainer Ed Dunlop, Snow Fairy was held up in the second half of the 13-horse field contesting the 2,000 meters event. It was not until the leaders straightened out into the stretch run that Moore got to work on his filly and she responded sharply.
Moving on the outside, Snow Fairy quickly moved to the leaders and, with a final surge, made the lead in the final yards. Irian, the winner of the local prep for this race, was second with a late run of his own. Packing Winner, leader at midstretch, held on along the rail to just beat defending champion Vision d'Etat for third.
The race, over good turf, was clocked in 2:02.96.
"At the top of the bend, I thought I had no chance," Moore said. "She's very special. You won't find too many filles who'll do what she did today."
Snow Fairy, an Irish-bred daughter of Intikhab, ends her year with five wins from seven starts. The victories include the Epsom and Irish Oaks and the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto. She won the Irish Oaks by 8 lengths and the Japanese race by 4.
Along with miler Goldikova, Snow Fairy now is at the apex of world-class fillies and mares. Dunlop said she will remain in training and he hopes to bring her back for another try at the Cup next December.
"She's not the biggest filly in the world," he said, "but she has the biggest heart."
Snow Fairy was the favorite in the Cup but the French contingent led by Vision d'Etat looked strongest of all. In addition to the defending champ, the French group included multiple winners Reggane, Planteur and Stacelita. None figured in the key parts of the race, however.
The Cup was the topping on a truly international day of racing at Sha Tin Racecourse in the New Territories.
Beauty Flash stepped up to win the Mile for the home team after pre-race favorite Able One was scratched at the gate. J J The Jet Plane, from South Africa, won a tight victory over Singapore-based Rocket Man in the Sprint. And Mastery, from the powerful Godolphin Racing operation in Dubai, powered to victory in the Vase.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI)