Dick Whittington wins Phoenix
Last Updated: 11/08/14 7:43am
Dick Whittington and Joseph O'Brien attack late to get the better of Kool Kompany (light blue silks) and Cappella Sansevero (right).
Dick Whittington and Joseph O'Brien denied Kool Company and Cappella Sansevero in a thrilling finish to the Phoenix Stakes.
Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien was extending his fine record in the contest, the master of Ballydoyle having saddled no less than 12 previous winners of the six-furlong contest, with the big-name likes of Johannesburg (2001), George Washington (2005), Holy Roman Emperor (2006) and Mastercraftsman (2008) all on the roll of honour.
With O'Brien electing to withdraw The Great War and War Envoy on account of the rain-softened ground, and Eddie Lynam's Royal Ascot winner Anthem Alexander also taken out, Anglesey Stakes winner Dick Whittington was a 6/1 chance.
In the absence of Anthem Alexander in particular, it appeared an excellent opportunity for Richard Hannon's prolific winner Kool Kompany to claim a victory at the highest level and he was the 8/11 favourite.
Richard Hughes was briefly kept in by the winner at the two-furlong pole, but the jockey fought his way out and the pair settled down for scrap in the final furlong.
Neither horse wilted as the post loomed, but Dick Whittington found extra in the final strides to secure victory.
The stewards called an inquiry in the immediate aftermath into the interference between the pair, but quickly ruled that the placings should remain unchanged.
The winning trainer said: "He's a tough, hardy horse. We weren't sure before today if he would get a mile or not but after that you would think he will.
"He won very well on fast ground at Navan and I'd say the ground doesn't seem to bother him.
"He's had a busy enough time for a young horse so we won't be in any panic with him now. He's had a tough race there and we'll give him a little break.
"His dad (Rip Van Winkle) was very genuine, and it's good to see he's passed that on."