Seven Days: A St Leger Fit For a King

With a royal audience, Continuous (Jpn) became the seventh winner of the St Leger for Aidan O'Brien, relegating the King and Queen's runner Desert Hero (GB) to third, just as Pour Moi (Ire) had done in the Derby with Carlton House back in 2011 in front of the late Queen. There were plenty of strands to an enthralling St Leger that would have made for good storylines: two of those, victory for Desert Hero with his owners present on Town Moor, or a final British Classic for Frankie Dettori, may...

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'A Pleasure To Train' – Varian's Group 1 Heroine Teona Retired After Setback

Teona (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}--Ambivalent {Ire}, by Authorized {Ire}), best known for taking the scalp of Snowfall (Jpn) in the G1 Qatar Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp last season, has been retired to the paddocks after suffering a setback in training. One of the most talented horses Roger Varian has ever trained, Teona went on to finish third in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf behind Yibir (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) at Del Mar last term, but had yet to reappear this season. Varian revealed on Friday that Teona, owned by Ali...

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Dual Classic Winner Snowfall Dead

Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), the record 16-length winner of the G1 Cazoo Oaks last June, has been euthanised after suffering a pelvic injury in her box. "It's very sad news, terrible," said trainer Aidan O'Brien. "The lads were thinking of keeping her in training but they hadn't quite made up their minds. It was very possible. "She had a pelvic injury in her box. Sometimes pelvic injuries go the right way or they can go the wrong way. Unfortunately this one went the wrong way. It's very sad and...

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Snowfall's Brother Starts At Dundalk

Observations on the European Racing Scene turns the spotlight on the best European races of the day, highlighting well-pedigreed horses early in their careers, horses of note returning to action and young runners that achieved notable results in the sales ring. Today's Observations features a full-brother to multiple Classic scorer Snowfall (Jpn). 1.05 Nottingham, Mdn, £14,000, 2yo, c/g, 8f 75yT KALAHARI PRINCE (IRE) (New Approach {Ire}) is one of five Godolphin representatives lining up for this "Golden Horn Maiden" won 12 months ago by Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), and one...

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We Are The Champions

If confirmation was needed that Ascot's QIPCO British Champions Day is what it says it is, a glance at the most recently-published Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings reveals all. Of the 11 Europeans occupying the top 20 in the list, five are in action on Saturday with four of the remaining either injured or retired at this point. Heading the A-list quintet at present are the inseparable G1 QIPCO Champion S.-bound Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) and Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}), with the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. favourite Palace...

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Snowfall, Love On Course For Arc

Trainer Aidan O'Brien said plans remain in place for Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and Love (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the last two winners of the G1 Oaks, to line up in the Oct. 3 G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe despite both fillies being eclipsed in their preps. Snowfall won the Oaks, the G1 Irish Oaks and the G1 Yorkshire Oaks before making up ground too late to be second in the G1 Prix Vermeille on Sept. 12. "She came out of the Vermeille very well--we're very happy with her,"...

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Snowfall Leads Sunday Supremos

After the flurry of top-class action on Saturday, the momentum carries over to Sunday with two different venues offering equally tantalising fare to cap the European racing program's weekend of weekends. Perhaps the great beauty of this 48-hour spell of decadence is that it not only witnesses the decorating of champions but also offers significant insight into those of the near and more distant future. The Curragh's two juvenile Group 1 contests are the last of their kind in this country and arguably the most important, while the established Arc...

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St Mark's Basilica On Course For Irish Champion

This year's dual Classic and G1 Coral-Eclipse S. winner St Mark's Basilica (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) is on track to resume his season in the G1 Irish Champion S. at Leopardstown on Sept. 11. The bay was forced to miss the G1 Juddmonte International after a cut on a hind leg caused by a lost shoe became infected. "St Mark's Basilica is on the right road," said trainer Aidan O'Brien. "It's a case of all good so far and we're on track." O'Brien also provided updates on his star 3-year-old fillies...

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Snowfall Faces Test Of The Generations

Having played with a crop of 3-year-old fillies unable to stay within hailing distance of her so far this year, Ballydoyle's fast-ascending starlet Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) has a proper examination awaiting her on York's Knavesmire on Thursday as Wonderful Tonight (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) squares up in the G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks. Thoroughly scintillating in the June 4 G1 Epsom Oaks and impressive as the widest-margin winner of the G1 Irish Oaks on record at The Curragh July 17, she even has course form having kickstarted her illustrious...

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Blizzard Conditions In High Summer

Aidan O'Brien used the word "special" to describe Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) following her stunning success by a record-breaking 16 lengths in the G1 Epsom Oaks, but most would argue that tag did not go far enough to fully quantify what was witnessed on the first Friday in June. Looking more like a freak of nature as she glided by toiling rivals in early straight, the Ballydoyle bombshell out of the portentously-named dam Best In the World (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) probably needs to do no more than she did...

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Snowfall Faces Seven In Irish Oaks

G1 Cazoo Oaks winner Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) makes her much-anticipated first start since that record 16-length romp in Saturday's G1 Juddmonte Irish Oaks at The Curragh, where she will face seven rivals. Also the winner of the G3 Musidora S. in May, Snowfall will be reunited with Ryan Moore after being piloted by Frankie Dettori at Epsom, and they will break from the inside stall. Snowfall will be joined by three Ballydoyle stablemates in Listed Naas Oaks Trial scorer Willow (Ire) (American Pharoah), who exits the outside gate...

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The Weekly Wrap: Happy Days Are Here Again 

To an extent, when Coolmore wins two of the weekend's premier Classics in Europe and Godolphin wins another, it feels like we are harking back to the glory days around the turn of the century, when the battle of the superpowers was epitomised by those back-to-back duels between Galileo (Ire) and Fantastic Light in the 'King George' and Irish Champion Stakes. Honours even. And it was honours even at Epsom, with the dazzling victory of Ballydoyle's Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the Cazoo Oaks, followed by the satisfying success...

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