Xian holds on in grueller
Miss Xian (far side) holds on in bunch finish
(Healy Racing Photos)
Francis Flood's charge was well backed before racing from 11/2 into 5/2 and after a initial drift on course was returned 5/2 favourite.
She hit the front at the third last but was joined by Dunroe Boy and the pair battled it out into the straight.
She looked in control on the run-in but tired in the closing stages and held on for a half-length success as the pack closed.
The winner had proved no match for easy winner Wise Oscar on her last visit to the course on New Year's Day.
“She's very tough and she's from the Couldnt Be Better (won Thyestes and Hennessy) family and there are plenty of guts in the family,” said Francis Flood junior.
“I thought she was going to be caught but she just held on.”
The stewards handed Ian McCarthy a five-day ban for his ride on Dunroe Boy, judging he had used whip with excessive frequency and hadn't given his mount time to respond.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)
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