IRIDESSA bounced back to Group 1-winning form in the Coolmore ‘Fastnet Rock’ Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
Joseph O’Brien’s three-year-old was prevailing for the third time at the top level as she lowered the colours, among others, of Laurens, returning in defence of the crown she won 12 months ago.
Iridessa, sent off at 10/1 after finishing seventh in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh two months ago, also proved too good on this occasion for Aidan O’Brien’s dual Guineas heroine Hermosa, who was a three-quarter-length second.
Even-money favourite Laurens set out to dominate from the front, as she often has to such telling effect.
But Hermosa was on her case throughout, nosing in front two furlongs out before Iridessa produced an irresistible late charge under Wayne Lordan, who has ridden her to all her Group 1 victories.
Karl Burke’s British raider Laurens faded to finish a three-length fourth of seven.
O’Brien said: “It’s fantastic. The filly was very tough and Wayne gave her a great ride. We’re over the moon.
“We were toying around with different trips, we weren’t sure what her trip was. She ran okay over a mile earlier in the year, we went 10 furlongs and she won.
“She ran well in the Oaks, but it was a very messy race, they went very slow and sprinted up the straight so we put a line through that.
“She’s a great filly, she seems to enjoy it when there is a bit of pace on in front of her and she has something to run at. I’m delighted for the owners.
“She’s a homebred. Mum and dad bought the mare and this is the second foal out of her. She has some younger animals coming along and this is a nice boost.
“It’s very important to get these Group 1s and this filly has been a real flag-bearer for us this year.
“The Prix de l’Opera was what we had in the back of our minds. Originally we were thinking about running in the Blandford, but there wasn’t as big a field here as we thought so we came here.”