Cristina Patino’s outstanding homebred mare Snow Fairy has been retired following a recurrence of a tendon injury which first came to light towards the end of 2011.

The six-year-old daughter of Intikhab, who was bought back by her breeder for just €1,800 at Tattersalls Ireland in December 2008, won eight of her 21 starts, with six of her victories coming at the highest level. She retires with earnings just shy of £4 million.

Trained in Newmarket by Ed Dunlop, Snow Fairy broke her maiden over six furlongs as a two-year-old and was supplemented for the 2010 Oaks after winning the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood. Following her victory at Epsom, she ran in another 13 Group/Grade 1 races, adding the Irish Oaks to her tally along with globe-trotting success in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup in Japan two years in a row, as well as victory in the Hong Kong Cup and last season’s Irish Champion Stakes.

“It is with much sadness that a decision was made this morning to retire Snow Fairy,” said Dunlop. “Unfortunately after a routine piece of fast work today she was found to have re-injured her near fore tendon, which has caused her problems in the last two years.

“I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Mrs Patino for all she has done, she has been the most wonderful owner of a truly amazing horse. Most owners would have retired her a lot sooner than she did and if this had been the case she would not have won the Irish Champion Stakes last year, which was without doubt her greatest performance.

“I would also like to thank all of my staff who have looked after her, ridden her and travelled her around the world. She remains the only international horse to have won two Group 1s in Japan.”

Snow Fairy also finished first past the post in the Prix Jean Romanet last year after a 10-month lay-off but was subsequently disqualified after testing positive for an anti-inflammatory substance which had been administered during recovery from her tendon injury.

Patino’s Racing Manager Patrick Copper has confirmed that Snow Fairy will visit her breeder’s own stallion, Elusive Pimpernel, a son of Elusive Quality whose second dam Gay Fantasy, by Troy, is also Snow Fairy’s fourth dam.

Cooper said: “[Snow Fairy] has given so much pleasure over the last four years and although the will to run is still with her, the means are not.

“Along the way she has been looked after by some wonderful horse people, too numerous to mention, but always at the helm has been Ed Dunlop. His training has been a joy to behold and for that we say thank you. She will now retire to Islanmore Stud in Co Limerick where she will visit Elusive Pimpernel next year.”