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Snow Fairy, who was being lined up for a tilt at the Dubai Sheema Classic on Saturday, has suffered “a minor leg injury” and will miss the race.

The dual Oaks winner had settled in nicely in the Middle East but the setback has come at the wrong time.

Trainer Ed Dunlop, who was preparing to fly out on Sunday, said: “It is a great shame, but the good thing is that the injury is not considered significant and is not career threatening.

“The vets have told us that it would be safe to travel, so Snow Fairy will fly home soon and she will then have two weeks box rest before we start all over again. She could well be back for Royal Ascot (Prince of Wales’s Stakes).

“It is disappointing for everyone, especially the owner (Mrs Christina Patino), and coming so close to the race we have no option but to withdraw the filly.

“She pulled out to exercise this morning and was found to be slightly lame on her right fore.

“The vets did extensive tests and found minor bone damage on the right cannon bone and while not a serious injury, it has obviously come at the wrong time for her to be able to run in Dubai.”

Snow Fairy added Group One prizes in Tokyo and Japan to her Classic wins.

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