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Fairy-tale season has Moore smiling

Ryan Moore has had a fairly classic season so far. He started it without ever riding an English or Irish Classic winner and, in the space of six weeks, he has notched up three -- including an Oaks double on Snow Fairy.

And privileged were those who were at the Curragh yesterday, they even got to see the often iron-faced assassin bare a smile on his return to the winners' enclosure aboard Ed Dunlop's ever improving filly.

When winning the Epsom Oaks, Snow Fairy repaid the confidence shown in her by connections, who had to supplement her to run in that Classic. Such was the manner of her improvement, a late entry was also required for the Curragh yesterday and despite the ground changing to far from ideal, she was allowed take her chance and she sluiced up by a facile eight lengths.

Dunlop made no secret that her final piece of work proved she was going to HQ yesterday a better beast than she was going into Epsom, so after the eight-length annihilation of what was seemingly a competitive field, Moore chose to offer the deafening analysis that "back on better ground, she would be even better".

Where we will see the filly, who failed to win a nursery last season, next time around is undecided, but she is now set to take in a break, before the Yorkshire Oaks, possibilities in France and another supplementary request are considered.

The winning trainer Ed Dunlop said afterwards: "She will have a short break now.

"She is in the Yorkshire Oaks, but there is also France and, having persuaded the owner to supplement for two Oaks' already, I don't know if I will try again for the Breeders' Cup!"

"I am reliably informed that she will stay in training as a four-year-old providing everything is okay," he added.

Dunlop was not interested in comparing his latest star filly with that of his former star Ouija Board, only to state: "We will now talk about going on a similar road to what we did with Ouija Board."

Having been the antepost favourite for the race all week, Snow Fairy was overtaken at the head of the market by Hibaayeb who never featured and didn't handle the ground according to rider Frankie Dettori.

Despite looking a worthy favourite on her Epsom form, concerns were raised over Snow Fairy handling the ground following overnight rain.

"I was slightly worried about the ground because her only previous run on soft ground she was well beaten," Dunlop said. "Ryan said she got a bump early and would be better on better ground, but she quickened well and it was pretty spectacular how she put the race to bed."

He added: "We were confident she would run well on decent ground, but the owner said take the plunge and go. She's a stronger filly and she has a huge heart."

You wouldn't be likely to run out of ink following a chat with Ryan Moore, but what he had to say often has much significance.

"She never gave me the same sort of feel today as Epsom, she would be a much better filly on better ground. She got a bump early on, which is never ideal on a filly, especially one of her size, and I got there earlier than I planned too because she wasn't travelling. But her work proved she had come forward from Epsom."

Other notable displays at the Curragh on Sunday came from Kevin Prendergast's Dunboyne Express who was a ready winner of the Group Three Anglesley Stakes earning quotes of 20/1 for next season's English 2000 Guineas in the process.


Also an eight-length winner, the colt justified the confident whispers before the off and afterwards the winning trainer remarked: "He's a smart horse and maybe the opposition didn't handle the ground but he likes it. He has always shown us that he's a nice horse and he if we get nice ground he could run in the Phoenix Stakes and he is also in the National Stakes."

Jessica Harrington unleashed a very nice sort in the shape of the day's opening winner Pathfork who looked very good under Shane Foley as he recorded a four-length win in the seven-furlong maiden.

Harrington continues to have her Flat string in terrific order and she said afterwards: "I always thought he was a nice horse but I was just a little bit worried about today's ground being by an American sire (Distorted Humour) but he is out of a Saddlers' Wells mare (Visions Of Clarity).

"His work has always been good and he has been finishing in front of Laughing Lashes (second in Group Three on Thursday) so we knew he was a nice horse."