Spartacus springs Phoenix surprise

 

Spartacus was a surprise 16-1 winner of the Group One Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh this afternoon.

His stablemate Hold That Tiger, who started favourite, trailed home last but was found to be in respiratory distress post-race.

Spartacus provided 21-year-old Colm O'Donoghue with his first ever Group victory.

"We ran four in the race because all the tests we did were okay. But you never know for sure until they run whether they have been affected by the cough," explained champion trainer Aidan O'Brien.

"Hold That Tiger got upset at the start, missed the break and was very disappointing," said jockey Michael Kinane.

Spartacus relished the soft ground as he made virtually all the running to bounce back to winning ways with stablemate Marino Marini (7-2) half a length back in second with Mick Channon's English raider Polar Force (25-1) just a short head adrift in third.