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  • Tim Ryan (


Moira and Kieran Murdoch’s “beautiful mare” caused a major upset in the Group II fillies and mares feature at Pukekohe on Saturday.

Larsala and jockey-of-the-moment Cameron Lammas burst into the limelight in the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at astronomical odds.

Waiuku training partners Moira and daughter Kieran Murdoch were “chuffed” with the performance of a horse they have had an opinion of “from day one”.

“She’s never put a foot wrong,” Moira Murdoch said. “She’s just a beautiful animal.

“She has always shown us a lot of ability – I know she’s only a one win horse but you’ve just got to have a go sometimes.”

Offered on account of Mapperley Stud at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock LTD Select Sale, Larsala (by Rip Van Winkle, from Imco Main) passed in after failing to meet her modest reserve and the decision was made to race her. Having a go paid off for owner and breeder Clyde Buckingham who is thrilled with the brave win.

Now he has a rising star on his hands if the words of Lammas prove correct.

“She’s still got a lot to learn,” the winning rider said. “She’s going to improve.”

Punters who had a go were rubbing their hands in glee at the odds of $101 on the final field and $60 on the tote.

Race favourite Francaletta tasted defeat for the first time after she failed to run on.

Pictured: Lasarla

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