Can Snowfall win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe?
They say that all good things come in threes, and after Snowfall’s sensational victories in the Epsom Oaks and the Irish Oaks, everyone is wondering where the next major victory is coming from. With the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe standing as the shimmering prize on the horizon, carrying with it the richest purse in the sport, the tips for horse racing are putting Snowfall forward as a real contender to carry that form into the famous Longchamp showpiece.
Of course, expectations must be tempered slightly. Many horses have enjoyed good bursts of form in the past only to plateau as their career continues, but there seems to be something special about Snowfall all the same. You don’t win the English and Irish versions of the Oaks without having a huge amount of talent, and it would be no surprise to see her winning plenty more big races in the future.
For trainer Aidan O’Brien, Snowfall is simply the latest in a long line of hugely impressive horses to come out of the Irishman’s stable. There is no bigger name in flat racing at the moment, and the trainer’s success is unparalleled in the sport. However, if there is one slight disappointment marinading his career in the sport, it’s that he has only trained the winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on two occasions — Dylan Thomas in 2007 and Found in 2016.
As Snowfall stormed to victory in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh, you could have forgiven O’Brien for licking his lips at the prospect of completing that hat-trick of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe wins. It was a dominant display by the three-year-old and jockey Ryan Moore, more than living up to her status as overwhelming 2/7 pre-race favourite. O’Brien was glowing with praise afterwards.
“She’s very smart and she has a lot of quality,” he said. “We purposely let her down a little bit from Epsom because the season is going to roll on and it was soft ground at Epsom. I’m delighted with her and she’s done very well from Epsom physically – she’s got very big and strong. “Ryan said she has a lot of speed. She goes very strong and she finishes out very well. We’ll go one race at a time now, the Yorkshire Oaks first.”
The veteran trainer certainly won’t be getting ahead of himself, but he’ll have the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe firmly in his sights. Snowfall sent shockwaves throughout the flat racing world with her performance in the Epsom Oaks earlier this summer, winning it by a clear 16 lengths, and those are now the standards that are being expected of her with every passing race.
O’Brien’s task is to keep the feet of all the horse’s connections on the ground, but there should certainly be excitement at Snowfall’s potential. With someone as experienced as O’Brien in charge of the filly’s future, you can bet that he won’t let this talented racehorse fail to fulfil her potential. It would be no surprise to see the Longchamp crowd cheering Snowfall’s name come early October.