IT was all Greek to Aidan O’Brien on Saturday as 2-1 favourite Magna Grecia sailed home to land the Vertem Futurity Trophy.
The powerhouse colt saw off Phoenix Of Spain in a white-knuckle finish that had favourite backers in raptures.
In a race run at breakneck speed, it appeared at one stage as though front-runners Western Australia and Circus Maximus might have stole a march on their rivals, whizzing four lengths clear at the two pole.
But as soon as the jockeys began to row in behind, Magna Grecia, Phoenix Of Spain and Great Scot all began to bear down fast, with Donnacha O’Brien imitating Hercules in an all-action drive on the 2-1 favourite.
Despite Aidan O’Brien’s colt having to check at a crucial stage, in the end his turn of foot was too strong and he ran out a convincing winner.
Charlie Hills’ Phoenix Of Spain produced a belter to claim a narrow second, with another of Aidan O’Brien’s battalion, Western Australia, hanging on grimly for third.
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However, the drama wasn’t over there as the winning colt had to survive a stewards’ inquiry for barging the runner-up.
After a minor delay the placings remained unaltered, and a delighted Aidan O’Brien said: “I’m delighted with him, he’s still a bit babyish but he’s coming forward lovely.
“We think a mile will be his thing next year.”
The victory was the Irish maestro’s ninth in the race and his second on the trot, having struck with Saxon Warrior last year.
The winning colt was given a 16-1 quote for next year’s Derby.