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"Now is a good time for me stop": John Oxx to retire from training

Mon 12 Oct 2020

John Oxx, trainer of the brilliant Sea The Stars and many other equine greats, has announced his intention to retire from the training ranks at the end of the season.

Oxx, who sent out Sinndar to win the Derby, Irish Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2000 and Alamshar to win the Irish Derby and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2003, outlined his plans on Monday afternoon.

Sinndar triumphs at Epsom 20 years ago under Johnny Murtagh

In a statement on www.irishracing.com, he said: “In 2021, I will not be renewing my trainer’s licence. It has been my good fortune to have enjoyed a lot of success and trained some great horses.

“I am extremely grateful to all the owners who have sent me those horses to train since 1979, to all the great jockeys who rode them and to all the exceptional staff who have worked for us over the last 41 years.

“Over the years and right up to date I have been privileged to have some wonderful owners and I will greatly miss training for them but now is a good time for me to stop.

“My concern at the moment is that our staff can find alternative employment as our training business will cease at the end of this turf season in November.”

Oxx, who can also lay claim to winning at the Breeders’ Cup with Ridgewood Pearl and the Gold Cup at Ascot with Enzeli, will forever be remembered for the way he brilliantly handled Sea The Stars.

The Cape Cross colt, a half-brother to Galileo, won six Group Ones in the space of six months in 2009, namely the 2000 Guineas, Derby, Eclipse, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc.

John Oxx reflected last year over the racing career of the amazing Sea The Stars

He was ridden throughout this career by Mick Kinane, who was quick to pay tribute to Oxx.

He said: “He’s a fantastic trainer and an outstanding gentleman.”

“I loved every minute I spent with him.”

Johnny Murtagh did the steering on Sinndar, riding the son of Grand Lodge in all eight of his career starts, of which he won seven.

He said: “It’s the end of an era, I rode for him for many years and he was just a brilliant trainer.

“When he got those good horses he was able to keep them on the boil for the whole season – more importantly he was just an absolute gentleman.

“He was a father figure to me, someone I looked up to. As a jockey I was privileged to ride for him and when I set up training he was a big influence on how we set up our business.

“I wish him all the best, hopefully he won’t leave the industry because a person with so much knowledge needs to be involved.

“I joined him as an apprentice when I was 15, we won at the Breeders’ Cup together, we had great success together and I think we worked well together.”

John Oxx factfile

Born: July 14, 1950. Father John was an eight-time Irish Classic-winning trainer.

Stable: Currabeg, County Kildare, Ireland.

First trainer’s licence: 1978.

First winner: Orchestra at Phoenix Park on March 31, 1979.

2000 Guineas winner: Sea The Stars 2009.

Derby winners: Sinndar 2000, Sea The Stars 2009.

Irish Derby winners: Sinndar 2000, Alamshar 2003.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner: Sinndar 2000.

Breeders’ Cup winner: Ridgewood Pearl (Mile, 1995).

King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes winners: Alamshar 2003, Azamour 2005.

Other Group One winners:

Azamour (St James’s Palace Stakes 2004, Irish Champion Stakes 2004, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes 2005), Ebadiyla (Irish Oaks, Prix Royal-Oak 1997), Edabiya (Moyglare Stud Stakes 1998), Enzeli (Gold Cup 1999, Doncaster Cup 2000), Eurobird (Irish St Leger, Blandford Stakes 1987), Flamenco Wave (Moyglare Stud Stakes 1988), Foresee (Blandford Stakes 1993), Kastoria (Irish St Leger 2005), Khalafiya (Meld Stakes 1990), Key Change (Yorkshire Oaks 1996), Manntari (National Stakes 1993), Massyar (Gallinule Stakes 1993), Petite Ile (Irish St Leger 1989), Namid (Prix de l’Abbaye 2000), Ridgewood Pearl (Irish 1000 Guineas 1995, Coronation Stakes 1995, Prix du Moulin 1995), Sardaniya (Meld Stakes 1991), Shemaran (Gallinule Stakes 1995), Sinndar (National Stakes 1999), Takarouna (Pretty Polly Stakes 1993), Timarida (Irish Champion Stakes 1996), Winona (Irish Oaks 1998).

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