Snowfall was a class apart at York on Thursday as she easily dispatched her six rivals to take the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, adding to victories in the English and Irish equivalents already this season.
It became a procession for the daughter of Deep Impact as she hit the front with three furlongs left to run and jockey Ryan Moore never needed to ask his mount to work hard for the victory.
She crossed the line four lengths ahead of Albaflora while her Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemate La Jaconde, who had taken up the early running, was a further two and three-quarter lengths away in third.
Moore said: “She was exceptional really. It was a truly-run race, but it fell apart quickly and she was left in front with two and a half [furlongs] to run.
“She’s very impressive and to me she’s improved since the last I rode her. Hopefully she’ll continue to improve.”
O’Brien added: “She’s a very good filly and has always done everything very easily. She quickens very well and now she’s laid back, she’s starting to really thrive and put on weight.
“She’s going to be really ready for the autumn. She travels very well, gets there very easy and then waits. We always thought she was good. Last year was a bit of a mess with everything and she was probably rushed a bit too much.
“She did very well over the winter and she’s by Deep Impact out of a Galileo mare, so she’s got a very good pedigree and was always going to get better. I’ll see what the lads want to do, but it’s very possible she could have another run [before the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe].
“We’d be very happy to take in another run, I’d imagine. It depends what the lads want to do – whether they want to go to an Arc trial or go straight to the Arc.”
Zain Claudette improves again
Zain Claudette followed up last month’s Princess Margaret Stakes victory when she held off the challenge of Sandrine to win the Group 2 Lowther Stakes for trainer Ismail Mohammed and jockey Ray Dawson.
Mohammed said: “On Sunday we worked her and she worked better than my six-year-old sprinter Good Effort – he did four furlongs in 47 seconds and she did it in 46. I’m very quiet, but I know her and I thought she would run well.
“She is not a sprinter. We will keep at six furlongs this year and she will go for the Guineas next year. I asked the jockey and he said she can go further.”
Dawson added: “She’s improved with every run and she deserved to win that on her performance. Going forwards, a Group 1 is definitely not out of the equation, she’s just so straightforward and you can see she’s so relaxed. It’s just an absolute pleasure to be a part of it.”