WHAT huge sadness to learn of the death of Snowfall, and what an incredible outpouring of love for the filly there was this week on social media.
Her runaway victory in the Oaks at Epsom, augmented by wins in the Irish and Yorkshire equivalents, really captured people’s imagination. It can only be conjecture now what she might have achieved this year. The beautifully named daughter of Deep Impact (Sunday Silence) and Best In The World (Galileo) was likely to spearhead the Ballydoyle older horse division in 2022, and her value as a potential broodmare was incalculable.
I don’t expect to see a more impressive three-year-old filly winning one of the premier European classic races, and Snowfall did so at the time in the manner of a potential world-beater. Her success at Epsom came in the aftermath of the death of her sire Deep Impact.
In 2021 Deep Impact sired of a record seventh Japanese Derby winner in Shahryar. He has been an influence on breeding in Japan in the same way that Galileo has been in Europe, and the latest tally of Group 1 winners sired by him is 54.
Not too many of Deep Impact’s sons and daughters spread their wings to race in Europe, though he also sired another Oaks winner – the French version - in Fancy Blue, and the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club-French Derby winner Study Of Man, now at Lanwades Stud. We must not forget, of course, his son Saxon Warrior too, the Group 1 2000 Guineas winner and Coolmore sire, who is bred on the same cross as Snowfall.
Deep Impact’s influence through his daughters is just emerging, but it already looks as though he will be remembered too as a broodmare sire. His Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches-French 1000 Guineas winning daughter Beauty Parlour is dam of last year’s Grade 1 winner Blowout (Dansili), while others have given us the Group 1 Kikuka Sho-Japanese St Leger winner Kiseki (Rulership) and 10 other group winners, and more who have won blacktype races.
One of five individual European classic winners for Ballydoyle in 2021, Snowfall is the only one to be successful in two. She is the first foal of the well-named filly Best In The World, a daughter of Galileo (Sadler’s Wells).
Also trained by Aidan O’Brien, Best In The World gained both of her successes in stakes races, a Group 3 at Cork and a listed race at the Curragh, and she was runner-up at the latter venue in the Group 2 Moyglare Jewels Blandford Stakes. Snowfall is followed by a three-year-old own-brother, Newfoundland (Deep Impact) who is yet to race, and a two-year-old half-brother by Dubawi (Dubai Millennium).
Best In The World is a full-sister to three group winners, the best of which is Found (Galileo). She won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac over a mile as a two-year-old and went on to even greater success over the next two seasons.
She won six races in all, was champion of her sex in Europe at three and four, and she was successful in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Found was also runner-up in the Irish 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes twice, Tattersalls Gold Cup, Champion Stakes at Ascot twice, Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks. She was in the first three in 14 Group/Grade 1 races.
Found’s first foal Battleground (War Front) was a Group 2 and Royal Ascot listed winner at two, finished second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and last year ran third to Poetic Flare and Lucky Vega in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes.
Red Evie, the dam of Found and Best In The World, really clicked with Galileo and they are two of seven winners produced from this cross. The others include Magical Dream, winner of the Group 3 CL Weld Park Stakes at two and placed at Group 2 level, and Divinely. The latter filly won the Group 3 Flame Of Tara Stakes at two and was third to Snowfall in the Oaks at Epsom.
Red Evie, a daughter of Intikhab (Red Ransom), won the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown as a three-year-old, improving from a maiden auction win at Yarmouth that March. She did not stop improving and as a four-year-old added the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes to her haul. She went to stud the winner of nine races and has improved the family page no end with the production of four stakes winning daughters.
Red Evie was bred in partnership by Dermot Cantillon and the Smurfit’s Forenaghts Stud and sold to Camas Park Stud as a foal for €50,000. She turned a modest profit as a yearling when selling on for 58,000gns. Her third sale visit was to the Tattersalls December Sale as a four-year-old where she was unsold at a million guineas after racing successfully for Terry Neill.
Red Evie is one of a pair of winners from Malafemmena (Nordico), a listed winner in Italy when trained by John Dunlop and group-placed in France. She only had four foals and she in turn is a daughter of the Group 3 Athasi Stakes winner Martinova (Martinmas) who was classic-placed in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.
Martinova was bred by Mrs Alexander at Dunshane Stud, Brannockstown, Co Kildare and sold as a yearling at the Tattersalls Houghton Sale for 29,000gns to Con Collins.
She raced in the colours of Clody Norton, formerly Hall-Dare, of Newtownbarry House Stud in Co Wexford. In 1980 she won two of her three juvenile starts, culminating in victory in the Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh.
Three of Martinova’s eight winners won blacktype races; Malafemmena, Export Price (Habitat) who was a dual Group 3 winner in France at two and three, and Ninepins (Niniski) who turned out to be a leading winner over jumps in the USA after winning a bumper and four hurdle races in Ireland.
Martinova herself was also one of eight winners, out of Pavlova (Fidalgo), and her best-known sibling was the then Group 2 Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Lucky Wednesday (Roi Soleil).