John Oxx

Last updated

John Oxx
Occupation Trainer
Born (1950-07-14) 14 July 1950 (age 70)
Major racing wins
British Classic Race wins:
2,000 Guineas (1)
Epsom Derby (2)
Irish Classic Race wins:
Irish 1,000 Guineas (1)
Irish Derby (2)
Irish Oaks (2)
Irish St. Leger (4)
Significant horses
Eurobird, Petite Ile, Timarida, Ridgewood Pearl, Sinndar, Alamshar, Azamour, Sea The Stars

John M. Oxx (born 14 July 1950) is a retired Irish trainer of thoroughbred racehorses. By the end of the 2009 season Oxx had trained 35 Group One winners over his career, including the winners of 11 Classic races. [1] He is best known as the trainer of Sinndar and Sea The Stars.

Contents

Oxx has been widely praised for the care and undemonstrative authority with which he approaches the training and racing of his horses. [2] [3] He is particularly known for being highly selective when choosing when and where his horses will run. [4] [5] [6]

Family background, education and early training

John Oxx is the son of John Oxx Sr., who was himself a successful trainer, winning eight Irish classic races. In 1950 Oxx's father purchased Currabeg, at the southwestern end of the Curragh in County Kildare, from where Oxx still trains. Oxx graduated from University College, Dublin, as a veterinary surgeon in 1973. He worked as his father's assistant before taking over the stable in 1979. In that year he had his first win and his first Group win with Orchestra. [1]

Career as a trainer

First successes

Oxx's first Classic win came with Eurobird in the Irish St Leger of 1987. He had a further success in the same race with Petite Ile two years later. In 1995 he trained Ridgewood Pearl, bred and owned by Sean and Anne Coughlan, to victories in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp, and the Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park, in America, meaning that the filly had six wins from eight races and that she had won Group One races in four different countries in the same season. [4] [7] [8]

Association with the Aga Khan

The Aga Khan began to support Oxx's yard with a number of yearlings after Eurobird's win in 1987. [7] When he decided to withdraw his racehorses from England following Aliysa's disqualification in The Oaks of 1989, [9] he established a significant presence in Oxx's yard. [10] Without a budget of his own to spend on yearlings, Oxx continued to be reliant on horses bred by owners with whom he had an association. In some years, he conceded, "you wouldn't have anything remotely near Group One standard". [6]

Many of Oxx's major race wins have come from Aga Khan-owned horses, beginning with Manntari's victory in the National Stakes at the Curragh in 1993, and continuing with Timarida's win in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in 1996, followed by Ebadiyla's victory in the 1997 Irish Oaks. Oxx also won that race with Winona the following year. [4] [11] In 2000 Oxx trained the Aga Khan's brilliant Sinndar to wins in the Epsom Derby, the Irish Derby, and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, making the colt the only horse ever to have won that trio of races and at that time one of only three Irish-based horses that had ever won the Arc. [8] [11] [12] [13]

The partnership also had successes with Alamshar, who won the Irish Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot; with Azamour, winner of the St. James's Palace Stakes, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Prince of Wales Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2004 and 2005; and with Kastoria, whose 2006 season included a win in the Irish St. Leger. [4] [8]

Sea The Stars

Oxx came to wider public attention when guiding Sea The Stars through a famous 2009 season in which he won Group One races in England, Ireland and France, his six consecutive triumphs including the 2,000 Guineas, The Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. [6] [14] [15] [16] [17] Oxx was typically understated when assessing the role of the trainer in the career of a great horse like Sea The Stars. "You can't give them ability they don't have," he told The Independent newspaper. "Really, it's just a case of not messing it up – not to overtax the horse too soon, or ask it to do stupid things as a two-year-old. If you mind him sufficiently when he's young, hopefully his ability will blossom." [2]

In an interview with The Observer , Oxx said of Sea The Stars: "I was always reading about racing and great horses of the past. So when you grow up with the history of racing and the history of breeding, the landmark horses that come along over a century, and more – to train one that's in that league gives you the greatest satisfaction." [18]

Official positions

Oxx served as chairman of the Irish National Stud from 1985 to 1990; he was chairman of the Irish Racehorse Trainers' Association from 1986 to 1991 and from 1993 to 1996; he has served on numerous other racing bodies and is chairman of the Racing Academy and Centre of Education. In 2008 he was given the Irish Racehorse Trainers' Association Hall of Fame award. [19]

Personal life

Oxx married Caitriona O'Sullivan in 1974. [1] They have three children.

Major wins

Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland


Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada


Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain


Flag of France.svg France


Flag of Germany.svg Germany


Flag of the United States.svg United States


Related Research Articles

Johnny Murtagh

Johnny Murtagh is an Irish flat racing jockey and trainer from Bohermeen, Kells, County Meath. He has won many of the major flat races in Europe, including all the Irish Classics, all the Group 1 Races at Royal Ascot, The Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and Europe's biggest race the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He has also been Irish flat racing Champion Jockey five times.

Sinndar Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Sinndar was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career that lasted from September 1999 until October 2000, he ran eight times and won seven races. He was notable for his unique achievement in winning The Derby, Irish Derby Stakes and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the same year.

Shahrastani American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Shahrastani (1983–2011) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He won four of his seven races between September 1985 and October 1986. He is best known for his performances in the summer of 1986 when he defeated Dancing Brave in the Epsom Derby and went on to win the Irish Derby by eight lengths. At the end of the season he was retired to stud, but made little impact as a stallion. He died in 2011.

Irish Champion Stakes Flat horse race in Ireland

The Irish Champion Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Ireland open to horses aged three years or older. It is run at Leopardstown over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs, and it is scheduled to take place each year in September.

Dalakhani Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Dalakhani is a thoroughbred race horse owned and bred by Aga Khan IV and trained by Alain de Royer-Dupré. He was sired by Darshaan covering Daltawa (Miswaki) and is therefore half-brother to Daylami.

Montjeu Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Montjeu was an Irish-bred, French-trained thoroughbred horse racing racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from September 1998 to November 2000 he ran sixteen times and won eleven races. After winning twice as a juvenile, he was the outstanding European racehorse of 1999, winning the Prix du Jockey Club, the Irish Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Four more victories in 2000 included the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was then retired to stud where he proved to be an outstanding sire of winners.

Motivator (horse) British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Motivator is a retired British Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. In a racing career which lasted from August 2004 until October 2005 he ran seven times and won four races. He is best known as the winner of the 2005 Epsom Derby. He was retired to stud where he sired the dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve.

The 2000 Epsom Derby was a horse race which took place at Epsom Downs on Saturday 10 June 2000. It was the 221st running of the Derby, and it was won by Sinndar. The winner was ridden by Johnny Murtagh and trained by John Oxx. The pre-race favourite Beat Hollow finished third.

2000 Prix de lArc de Triomphe

The 2000 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was a horse race held at Longchamp on Sunday 1 October 2000. It was the 79th running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Kahyasi Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Kahyasi was an Irish-bred and British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He won the first five races of his seven-race career, including the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby as a three-year-old in 1988.

Zarkava Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Zarkava is an undefeated French Thoroughbred racehorse whose wins included the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Sea the Stars Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Sea The Stars is a champion Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. Regarded by many as one of the greatest racehorses of all time, he is best known for winning the 2000 Guineas, the Derby, the Eclipse Stakes – the first colt to accomplish this treble since 1989 champion Nashwan – the International Stakes, the Irish Champion Stakes, and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Darshaan was a British-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and a Champion sire and broodmare sire.

2009 Prix de lArc de Triomphe

The 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was a horse race held at Longchamp on Sunday 4 October 2009. It was the 88th running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Azamour was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He won four Group One races including the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and was Europe's Champion Older Horse in 2005. At his peak, he was rated the third best thoroughbred racehorse in the world.

Alamshar is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. He won five of his nine races in a career which lasted from September 2002 to September 2003. He is best known for his performances as a three-year-old when he overcame chronic injury problems to win the Irish Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

2005 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

The 2005 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes was a horse race held at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 23 July 2005. It was the 55th King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The race was run at Newbury as Ascot Racecourse, the event's traditional home, was being redeveloped. Whereas Ascot is a right-handed, triangular course with a short straight, Newbury is a wide, left-handed oval with a five furlong straight, giving the race a very different complexion.

Ebadiyla was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Bred and owned by the Aga Khan an trained by John Oxx she was unraced as a two-year-old in 1996 but quickly established herself as a very promising filly in the following spring with an emphatic win on her racecourse debut followed by a narrow defeat in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. After finishing sixth in The Oaks she won the Irish Oaks and ended her season with a six length win in the Prix Royal-Oak. She remained in training as a four-year-old but failed to win in three races although she did finish third in a strong renewal of the Coronation Cup. After her retirement from racing she had considerable success as a dam of winners.

Shawanda is an Irish-bred, French-trained. Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was unraced as a two-year-old and finished second on her racecourse debut in April 2005. She then established herself as one of the best fillies of her generation in Europe with five consecutive win including the Prix de Royaumont, Irish Oaks and the Prix Vermeille. After finishing sixth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe she was bought by Godolphin and retired from racing in 2006. She made an immediate impact as a broodmare, with her second foal being the St Leger winner Encke.

Timarida was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare bred and owned by the Aga Khan, who competed in six different countries and won major races in five of them. In a racing career which lasted from March 1995 until December 1996 she ran sixteen times, recording ten wins, two seconds and two third places.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Holland, Anne. Sea The Stars: The World's Best Racehorse, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2009), p.48
  2. 1 2 McGrath, Chris. "The greatest horse of all time?", The Independent , 3 October 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. Oakley, Robin. "Derby hopeful", The Spectator , 9 May 2009. Link to the article on Infotrac Periodicals Database (login required). Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "John Oxx", Horse Racing Ireland , October 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  5. Sweetman, Alan. "Shrewd Oxx sure to get best out of Swing", The Racing Post , 11 April 2007. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 Cook, Chris. "John Oxx targets his latest English Classic win with Born to Sea", The Observer , 28 April 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  7. 1 2 Holland, Anne. Sea The Stars: The World's Best Racehorse, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2009), pp.48–9
  8. 1 2 3 "Ten Best Horses: John Oxx at 60", The Racing Post , 14 July 2010. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  9. Durso, Joseph. "His Highness And His Herd Take a Hike", New York Times , 16 January 1991. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  10. Sweeney, Tony. "European Derby Successes", Aga Khan Studs, 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  11. 1 2 Holland, Anne. Sea The Stars: The World's Best Racehorse, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2009), p.49
  12. Edmondson, Richard. "Brilliant Sinndar joins the Arc angels", The Independent , 2 October 2000. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  13. Montgomery, Sue. "Sinndar has the valuable virtues", The Independent , 1 October 2000. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  14. "Oxx calls time as Sea The Stars retired", The Irish Times , 13 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  15. McClean, Donn. "Running into history", The Sunday Times , 18 October 2009. Link to the article on the InfoTrac National Newspapers Database (login required). Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  16. Ashforth, David. "Demands of regime mean no easing off for Stars", The Racing Post , 5 September 2009. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  17. Muscat, Julian. "Sea The Stars bows out on glorious high", The Times , 14 October 2009. Link to the article on the InfoTrac National Newspapers Database (login required). Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  18. Hayward, Paul."Sea The Stars, wonder horse and Irish miracle worker", The Observer , 20 September 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  19. Holland, Anne. Sea The Stars: The World's Best Racehorse, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2009), p.54

Further reading

Racing Post details for Oxx's multiple Group One-winning horses