Ground the key to Fairy Arc bid

The tremendously popular Snow Fairy could take her chance in the coveted Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 2 if ground conditions are suitable, writes Elliot Slater.

Ed Dunlop's globetrotting four-year-old ran as well as ever when making Ballydoyle's superb So You Think look to his laurels in failing by just half-a-length to peg back the ex-Australian star in a superb renewal of the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this month, and connections are now seriously considering allowing the bargain basement buy to take her chance at Longchamp in what is building up to be a fantastic race. Those following the horse racing betting will find it very tough to pick a winner.

Having observed Sunday's Arc trials in which both Sarafina and Galikova were impressive, Dunlop nevertheless feels that Snow Fairy is more than capable of mixing it with the leading French fillies, (not to mention top colts Nathaniel, Reliable Man, and last year's winner Workforce), and would in no way be afraid of letting her have a crack at Europe's top middle -distance contest. The proviso is the going, as the Newmarket handler is loath to let his filly slog through very testing ground, especially as the intention is for her to return to Japan and Hong Kong this autumn and attempt to repeat her outstanding Grade 1 wins last year in the Far East.

Discussions will be ongoing with the Intikhaab filly's owner Cristina Patino, and a final decision will only be made once a clearer picture develops of what the likely underfoot conditions will be on Arc day. Generally a 20/1 chance in the horse betting for the big race, Snow Fairy has also run a good second to Midday in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, having belatedly begun her seasonal campaign with a somewhat rusty-looking fourth place finish behind So You Think in the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in early-July.