Oxx denied fairytale farewell at the Curragh

John Oxx is looking forward to the next chapter in his life after saddling his final runners at the Curragh on Monday.

The Currabeg handler announced last month he was bringing the curtain down a glittering training career spanning over four decades at the end of this season.

After saddling Storm Legend to win at Naas on Sunday, Oxx sent three horses to the home of Irish Flat racing to contest the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund (C & G) Maiden.

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And the popular trainer almost secured a fairytale ending, with Earlswood beaten less than a length into third place, after which Oxx said: “Those are my last runners and they all ran well.

“I thought the horse in third was coming to win, but he just got a bit tired. They are three nice horses and hopefully we hear more of them next year.

“The horse that won yesterday (Storm Legend) is going to Fozzy Stack and he’ll have a bit of fun with him. He could go for a Guineas trial.”

John Oxx with the great Sea The Stars
John Oxx with the great Sea The Stars (Niall Carson/PA)

Oxx will forever be remembered as the trainer of the brilliant Sea The Stars, who six Group Ones in the space of six months in 2009, encapsulating the 2000 Guineas, Derby, Eclipse, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Other equine greats to pass through his hands include Sinndar, who won the Derby, the Irish Derby and the Arc in 2000, and Alamshar, who landed the Irish Derby and the King George three years later.

“The die is cast now and we’re looking forward to retirement. We’ve been very lucky, we’ve had a great run and have no complaints. We’re happy with the way life turned out,” Oxx added.

“There comes a time when it’s the right time to stop, and we’ve been thinking about it for a few years, as you have to have a viable business and there is no point going on when you don’t.

“The more we think about it, the happier we are. What’s the point in going on forever at it?

“I’ll still go racing as I’d miss the people and the chatting. That’s really what it’s all about, the communication with people. I’d miss that if I became a recluse.

“I’ll be doing a few bits for people although I won’t be over busy. I’ll be busy enough, I hope.”

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