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Relying on bunch of Aga Khan fillies to keep his name in lights; STABLE TOUR JOHN OXX.

STABLE FACTS Yard Currabeg, the Curragh Training since 1979 Assistant trainer Slim O'Neill Horses 95 Staff 48 DIFFERENT year, but the same John Oxx refrain. "We've plenty of three-yearolds, I'm just not sure if they're any good," is how he sums up this season's crop.

The master of Currabeg has no Sea The Stars in 2010, but there are no end of memories. It's worth recalling that his great champion managed to finish just fourth on his debut as a two-year-old - as good an illustration as you'll find to the Oxx modus operandi: patience.

For big-race victories this summer, much may depend on Arazan, who promised Classic success last season only to meet with a catalogue of problems, which have plagued him at two, three and now four. There is no guarantee that the colt will ever run again, but Oxx is hopeful that he could be nursed back to health.

As ever, he has not been rushing his juveniles. None have run yet, but there are a few choicely bred unraced ones among them who we can look forward to.

This year's string features a heavy emphasis on three-year-old fillies, mainly owned by his chief patron, the Aga Khan.

Interview by Johnny Ward OLDER HORSES Arazan 4-year-old colt, Anabaa - Asmara Owner: The Aga Khan Form figures: 113/ Racing Post Rating: 115 Has had another setback so he's been undergoing treatment. He's back in exercise now, but we're just going to feel our way with him and play it by ear to see if we can get him back for the second half of the year. His future racing career is not certain and we're going to have to see. It's a pity because he was our potential flag-bearer this season - we're a bit short of them. It's all up in the air and we're just feeling our way back with him.

Bean Uasal 4 f Oasis Dream - Catch The Blues Mrs H Keaveney 1670-33 RRP 79 She has run well and been consistent, so hopefully there's a handicap in her before too long.

Dawn To Dance 4 f Selkirk - Dawnsio Lady Clague Unraced She got a cut on her head in the stable yard and had to be withdrawn just before she was due into the paddock at Gowran recently. She's an interesting maiden and has a good pedigree, being a halfsister to Namid, and she's a name worth noting. She might appear shortly and it would be nice to win races with her.

Haralan 4 g Sinndar - Haratila The Aga Khan 15-1 RRP 105 He won a handicap recently at Leopardstown and was put up to 103, so that more or less forces us out of handicaps. He'll probably run in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown, if the ground is fast.

Rayeni 4 c Indian Ridge - Rayyana The Aga Khan 1/2412-2 RRP 114 He was second in the Irish Guineas last year and was just beaten in the Gladness first time out this season after running a bit fresh. Despite being slightly keen it was a good effort. He is fairly ground-dependent, so he'll run wherever there's cut. The Greenlands Stakes on Guineas day [May 22] is the plan.

Roses For The Lady 4 f Sadler's Wells -Head In The Clouds Neil Jones 5/1352-1 RPR 112 She won last month on quick ground at Navan; considering the conditions wouldn't have suited it was a game performance. She tolerates fast ground, but you wouldn't like to run her on it every day. I'd much prefer to see her on soft and she will possibly run next in the Yorkshire Cup on Friday, although there may not be much rain between now and then. We'll pick races where we can find some cut and hopefully there'll be another good race or two in her. The Irish Leger would be an obvious objective.

Vitruvian Man 4 c Montjeu - Portrait Of A Lady Plantation Stud 212/7-RRP 104 He had a setback last year, which meant having to undergo some colic surgery, and this restricted him to one run. He has done well since and was making good progress before a splint problem last month. He's back in action again and hopefully can go on to fulfil his potential, as he has done well.

THREE-YEAR-OLDS Alaia f Sinndar - Alasana M J & L A Taylor Partnership 3 RPR 65 She made her debut at Gowran last week and it was a very nice run. She's a promising filly who should improve a good bit from it.

Akinndi g Intikhab - Akaliya The Aga Khan 725-RPR 79 He is rated 78 but should be up to winning a race or two. I'm not sure if he'll go for a handicap or a maiden.

Askeria f Sadler's Wells - Asmara The Aga Khan 4 RPR 75 A half-sister to Azamour and she's useful. She finished just ahead of Troas at Leopardstown last month and will run a good race next time.

Aznavour c Azamour - Cadence Mrs J Oxx 16 RPR 91 He won his maiden well at Gowran and we ran him again slightly too quickly in a Group 3 at the Curragh eight days ago, where he jumped out a bit smartly and was too free in front. He ran himself into the ground and probably wasn't ready for the big day out. In addition, the ground was probably too soft as he likes it quick. He's a nice horse for later in the year and we still have faith in him.

Bass Rock c Pivotal - Massarra Thomas Barr 32-RPR 87 Has potential and is a nice maiden for around 7f. He'd two places last year in good company, but has had a couple of setbacks. Should run later this month.

Behtarini g Dalakhani - Behkiyra The Aga Khan 422-42 RPR 84 He got beaten narrowly by one of Aidan O'Brien's at Dundalk last month and has since been gelded, so hopefully he'll show some improvement when he next appears. He's a decent horse, who stays well, but after all those placed efforts he now needs to get his act together.

Edallora f Refuse To Bend - Ebaziya The Aga Khan 4 RPR 60 She was one place behind Alaia on her debut and will be a nice maiden. We might go up a bit in distance after that.

Emrani g Rahy - Ebaza The Aga Khan 007-11 RPR 70 He won at Dundalk off 63 and we were hoping he'd still be competitive off his revised mark of 72. Thankfully he was, and he won again at Dundalk on Saturday.

Hanakiyya f Danehill Dancer - Handaza The Aga Khan 6 RPR 51 She ran well at Gowran last month and is one of three Danehill Dancers I have. She'll win in due course.

Hazarafa f Daylami - Hazariya The Aga Khan 64-15 RPR 88 She was fifth in the Salsabil, where she found the distance [1m2f] a bit short; she may have been third but for meeting interference. Still, she ran well and just didn't have the foot for that trip on fast ground.

Julie's Jet f Cape Cross - Julie Jalouse Lady O'Reilly 1-RPR 76 She won at Tipperary on Arc day and has been a little slow to come to hand since. She might be nice over the summer on fast ground.

Kaladena f Daylami - Kalamba The Aga Khan 5 RPR 65 She may run shortly over a longer distance, having finished fifth over 1m to Zayaan of Kevin Prendergast's. She performed okay and should be competitive over further.

Karasiyra f Alhaarth - Kerania The Aga Khan 41-44 RPR 88 She was up against it at Gowran taking on higher-rated fillies and I was hoping she might sneak into third, but she ended up fourth. She ran like she wanted further and we'll try to step her up to 1m4f in future.

Keredari c Oasis Dream - Kerataka The Aga Khan 13-1 RPR 110 He's a smart horse and we like him - he'd be our best threeyear-old. He won the Loughbrown Stakes and the Irish Guineas is next; he has improved. He has no great ground preference.

Lingapour c Gulch - Lidakiya The Aga Khan 84-11 RPR 94 He scrambled home at Dundalk and then won a much better race at Gowran. He's a decent fast-ground horse who is on the upgrade. As a halfbrother to Linngari he'll probably want 1m2f in due course.

Nebula Storm c Galileo - Epping Christopher Tsui 91-RPR 90 He won a maiden at Leopardstown last November, but had a setback the following month and is not in fast work yet. He'd be a promising stayer for the second half of the season.

O'Bella Ballerina f Fusaichi Pegasus - Ballerina Neil Jones 7-4 RPR 68 She was fourth at Cork ten days ago and should improve from the run. Ought to go well in a maiden next time.

Rocky Elsom g Rock Of Gibraltar - Bowstring Clodagh McStay 94-22 RPR 84 He's been second twice and ran very well each time, beaten by Encompassing at Limerick. The distance [1m] was a little bit on the short side, but he's a good maiden, particularly with ease in the ground.

Romie's Kastett f Halling - River Patrol Clodagh McStay Unraced A full-sister to Norse Dancer. She's a nice filly, who had a recent setback but should be ready to run in about two weeks' time.

Simkana f Kalanisi - Sinntara The Aga Khan 4 -RPR 64 A half-sister to Sinndar and a useful filly too, who ran fourth at the Curragh in October. She's been a little bit slow to come to hand this year but she'll be okay over a distance.

Smart Striking f Smart Strike - Jellett JP Dunne 6-RPR 57 She ran well at Naas in October and is a nice, sharp little filly who should be ready to run soon.

Taroum g Refuse To Bend - Taraza The Aga Khan 5-3 RPR 77 He was third over 1m1f on Easter Sunday at Cork and would appreciate a step up to 1m2f. He likes cut in the ground and will be a good maiden when he gets it.

Troas g Dalakhani - Amathusia Athos Christodoulou 51 RPR 79 He ran a good fifth over 1m2f at Leopardstown on his debut and stepped up on that back there yesterday when winning by a head. He's a decent sort who likes fast ground, and has every chance of improving when tackling a longer trip.

What A Charm f Key Of Luck - Atalina C Jones 3012-4 RPR 94 When she ran fourth in the Salsabil over 1m2f at Navan she found the conditions too quick. She tolerates fast ground but isn't nearly so good on it. Also, she needs 1m4f.

Zarebiya f Galileo - Zarlana The Aga Khan Unraced She was entered on Sunday but the ground was a bit fast for her. She's a decent staying filly who might develop into something once she's got a race or two under her belt. We like her.

TWO-YEAR-OLDS I wouldn't be trying to come up with some superstars here - as soon as I do, they usually go lame the next day!

Zabarajad (c Invincible Spirit - Zalaimya), owned by the Aga Khan, is a promising colt who looks as though he might be our first juvenile runner around the end of May. Kastoria's first foal, Kastania (f Gone West) is decent. I also have a nice filly, Emiyna (f Maria's Mon - Ebaza), who looks one for later in the year.

Also worth mentioning is Mouraniya (f Azamour -Mouramara). She's a half-sister to Mourilyan and Mourayan and is very much one to look forward to. I've a few nice Azamours this year.

Lady Clague has two worth noting in Cape Of Good Grace (f Cape Cross -Daganya) and Red Calima (c Shirocco - So Well Red). However, all of these two-year-olds are in their early stages.

Reporter's choice Class horse Arazan His career hangs in the balance, but the son of Anabaa was at one stage talked of in the same breath as Sea The Stars. It will be fascinating to see how he progresses if making it back Dark horse Romie's Kastett Sister to Norse Dancer who will debut shortly Surefire winner Bass Rock Smart form in maidens and is likely to be a short price when making his seasonal bow


John Oxx: adopting his usual patient approach
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 10, 2010
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