Magna Grecia wins Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes

Aidan O’Brien won his 9th Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes (formerly The Racing Post Trophy) at Doncaster when his son Donnacha rode Magna Grecia to success on Saturday.

Ballydoyle-trained horses set the pace through Western Australia and Circus Maximus before the 2-1f, under the Irish champion jockey-elect, got up by a head at the line to deny the Charlie Hills-trained Phoenix Of Spain.

Magna Grecia, now being quoted at 16-1 for the 2019 Investec Derby at Epsom, had to survive a Stewards’ Enquiry as there seemed to have been contact between the winner and the runner-up when the O’Brien colt move out from behind his stable companion to make his move.

Commenting on the winner, who had been beaten by Andre Fabre’s Persian King in the Autumn Stakes on his previous outing, 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. He would have learned a lot today. He had to knuckle down which he did the last day too.”

The winning trainer was doubtful, however, as to whether the two-year-old son of Invincible Spirit would get the Derby trip:

“We thought he might be a miler, but he’s out of Galileo mare which gives him a chance. I always thought if he got a mile we’d be delighted. Maybe he will stay further.”


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