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Oxx not rushing rider quest

John Oxx says there is no hurry to find a replacement for Johnny Murtagh as retained rider for the Aga Khan's Irish-trained horses.

The Currabeg trainer, who handles the bulk of the owner's horses in Ireland, doesn't expect the matter to be discussed until the close of the Flat season.

"His Highness (the Aga Khan) has been away and there's no great urgency (with filling the position) -- we'll sort it out when the season is over," said Oxx.

"The country is full of good jockeys but a lot of them have good jobs already."

Since Murtagh's contract was terminated with immediate effect at the end of August, the Aga Khan's horses with Oxx have been ridden by jockeys such as Declan McDonogh and Niall McCullagh.


Shane Foley has been aboard those trained by Mick Halford.

Oxx was speaking after Zand had made all the running under McDonogh in the Aga Khan colours to take a mile maiden at Leopardstown in good style on Saturday.

"He won handy and he did everything right. He stayed on well and took a bit of pulling up," said Oxx.

"He'll get a trip but is by Zamindar, who is bred to get fast horses.

"However, when you put a Kayhasi mare to him they tend to get a bit of distance. It's a blend that has worked well with Zarkava.

"Zand should be a nice horse next year over a bit of a distance and he could start off in something like the Ballysax Stakes."