Duchess Andorra takes Group Three at Gowran Park
Duchess Andorra claimed a tenacious victory in the Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes at Gowran Park.
Winner of a handicap at the County Kilkenny circuit last April, Johnny Murtagh's filly had seemingly had her limitations exposed on her last two appearances at Pattern level, but she was a well-supported 16-1 shot for this Group Three assignment.
Having raced on the front end throughout, Colin Keane's mount displayed admirable courage in the testing conditions to fight off the majority of her rivals in the straight.
Laganore came from out of the pack to throw down a major challenge inside the final furlong and the pair flashed by the post almost as one, but the judge called Duchess Andorra the winner by a short head.
The Michael Stoute-trained Intimation was not far away in third, with the other British raider, Marco Botti's Aljazzi, fourth.
Discipline was the 5-2 favourite on her first start since winning the Naas Oaks Trial in June, but proved bitterly disappointing.
Duchess Andorra was formerly trained by the now-retired Joanna Morgan, for whom she won in the snow at St Moritz.
Murtagh said: "It's a long way from St Moritz!
"The whole aim this year was to get a bit of black type.
"I had great belief in her when conditions are like that and I think that's the ideal trip for her (nine furlongs).
"A mile is a bit too short and a mile and a quarter maybe a bit too long.
"I think she'll be a valuable broodmare for Michael (Ryan, owner-breeder).
"She has been running very consistently this year. I knew when she was in the fight half a furlong down the one thing she has is great heart.
"I'm not sure (if she will race next season) as I haven't spoke to Michael yet but that's job done."
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