Snowfall Heads to York for Darley Yorkshire Oaks

August 18, 2021

YORK, YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND (Aug. 18, 2021) — Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s dual Group 1-winning filly Snowfall (JPN) is set to take on six rivals at York in the 1 ½-mile Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) on Thursday. The Darley Yorkshire Oaks winner will receive an automatic berth into the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 5-6.

Snowfall, a 3-year-old daughter of Deep Impact (JPN) out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Best In The World (IRE), is three for three this season. The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly returns to York where she began her 2021 campaign with a win in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (G3), before cruising to a record-breaking 16-length victory in the Cazoo Oaks (G1) at Epsom in June. Snowfall followed up on that success with another wide-margin victory in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks (G1) at The Curragh on July 17. She is joined by stablemates Divinely (IRE), last seen finishing fourth in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes (G2), and La Joconde (IRE), the outsider of the field.

Trained by David Menuisier and ridden by William Buick, Wonderful Tonight (FR) steps up to Group 1 competition for the first time this season. The 4-year-old daughter of Le Havre (IRE) won the Qatar Prix de Royallieu (G1) at ParisLongchamp and QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (G1) last October. This year, Wonderful Tonight captured the Hardwicke Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot in June before winning the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes (G2) at Goodwood on July 31.

Menuisier had alternative options in France for his star filly but has decided to head to York.

He said: “Obviously I’m hoping there’s a bit more rain, but if the ground is good we’ll give it a go.

“I’ve been in Deauville for four or five days and I’ve found that the ground is pretty chopped up. The weather forecast is not that positive for downpours and I’m sure the ground will be better in York than it is in Deauville.”

Connections of Albaflora (GB) will be hoping their 4-year-old filly can improve against Wonderful Tonight. Owned and bred by Miss Kirsten Rausing, Albaflora finished fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes and third in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes. It would be a first win in this race for trainer Ralph Beckett and jockey Rossa Ryan, if successful.

John Gosden has won this race five times. Now training in partnership with his son Thady, the duo saddle Loving Dream (GB), with jockey Frankie Dettori set to ride. The 3-year-old daughter of Gleneagles (IRE) was last seen when winning the Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot on June 17.

Finishing three-quarters of a length behind Loving Dream that day at Ascot was Shadwell Estate Company’s Eshaada (GB). The lightly raced Group 2 placed 3-year-old filly, trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Jim Crowley, completes the field.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks winner to start in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, which will be run at 1 3/8 Miles on the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 25 to receive the

Breeders Cup Press Release

Photo: The Curragh Racecourse (@curraghrace)

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