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Stars align for gentleman Oxx to prove that sometimes nice guys do finish first

Eamonn Sweeney


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John Oxx. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

John Oxx. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

John Oxx. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

On March 31, 1979, a 28-year-old neophyte trainer saddled a horse called Orchestra in the Rank Cup at the Phoenix Park racecourse. The horse, owned by Lord Donoughmore who just five years earlier had been kidnapped by the IRA and held hostage for a week, finished first. He was John Oxx's first winner.

Fast forward 30 years. It's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe day in Longchamp and Oxx has never been so nervous. Sea The Stars has already won the Derby, the Irish Derby, the Eclipse Stakes, the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes but his trainer feels this is the race that really matters.


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