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Oxx to stick with Murtagh on Born To Sea


Johnny Murtagh. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Murtagh. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Murtagh. Photo: Sportsfile

Nathaniel and Snow Fairy appear among the 12 entries for Saturday's Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

John Gosden has decided on Ireland's most prestigious race as the next port of call for Nathaniel, the Coral-Eclipse hero who was just run down by Danedream in the King George at Ascot last time.

French gelding Cirrus Des Aigles has not been confirmed, but Ed Dunlop's Snow Fairy is among the potential opposition after her thrilling return from injury at Deauville recently.

Aidan O'Brien -- who will be looking for his eighth victory in the Group One over a mile and a quarter -- has six of the field in St Nicholas Abbey, Robin Hood, Imperial Monarch, Treasure Beach, Windsor Palace and Daddy Long Legs.

Dermot Weld has Ribblesdale winner Princess Highway and prolific veteran Famous Name, while the Jim Bolger-trained Light Heavy and John Oxx's Born To Sea complete a strong line-up.

Johnny Murtagh is set to ride Born To Sea after Oxx confirmed that the 24-year-old would continue to ride for him for the remainder of the season, despite the jockey's split with leading owner and breeder, the Aga Khan.

Meanwhile, Andrew Oliver's Uleavemebreathless got off the mark at the second time of asking in the Median Auction Fillies' Maiden at Roscommon yesterday.

The 7/4 second favourite travelled off the pace early on, but Shane Foley was alive to favourite Cocktail Hour's move into the lead and soon swept past.

Maude Adams produced a strong late surge to land the Fillies' Handicap. Kevin Prendergast's 9/1 chance found plenty for Sam James, beating Sli Na Fiarana by a length and a quarter.

Irish Independent