Sunday 24 February 2019

Prendergast and Oxx set to join forces at Curragh base

Trainer John Oxx. Picture: Sportsfile
Trainer John Oxx. Picture: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

John Oxx and Patrick Prendergast are to join forces to form a new alliance at the same Curragh base.

Oxx, trainer of several equine greats, including Sea The Stars and Sinndar, is approaching 2,000 winners, though he has had a quiet few years since his long association with the Aga Khan ended.

On the other hand Prendergast, who will not renew his licence, has been steadily growing his business with the filly Skitter Scatter providing him with a maiden Group One success, in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

That Oxx's Currabeg Stables and Prendergast's base at Melitta Lodge are close together is an obvious benefit and no jobs will be lost in the venture, which has been backed by all owners.

"We feel the timing is good for both parties, we've got the space and Patrick has run out of it. I think Patrick would like a change in direction a bit," Oxx said. "Patrick doesn't want to be the trainer and is happy to come and work for me."

Prendergast was quick to stress that nothing much will change for the stable star Skitter Scatter.

Meanwhile, Irish jockeys who test positive for cocaine will face a five-year ban, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board has announced.

Chief executive of the IHRB Denis Egan explained: "The increase in the number of positive tests is very worrying, but racing is probably no different than what is happening elsewhere in society.

"Since 2016 we've had 12 positives for cocaine and five of these came in 2018 from 254 tests, so the problem is getting worse. Any rider caught in future can expect a lengthy ban."

Irish Independent

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