Oxx Khan still mix it with the best

It was particularly interesting to note just how much goodwill there was towards John Oxx after his My Titania had won a Group 3 at the Curragh last Sunday.

Oxx, the man who gave us Sea The Stars, has had a horrendous season on the track, but it was surely his treatment by the Aga Khan that saw such an outpouring of support for the man.

The Aga Khan’s much-publicised decision not to send him any yearlings this season was greeted with astonishment and has to be regarded as simply inexplicable.

Oxx has been training horses for the Aga Khan for 24 years and they have enjoyed some amazing days together, especially with Sinndar.

He will continue to train for the Aga Khan next season, but numbers are going to be much reduced and the refusal to send Oxx any yearlings is, you suspect, the beginning of the winding down process between the two men.

That, of course, remains to be seen and it will obviously be a case of watching this space over the coming months and, perhaps, years.

Through what has to have been a dreadful time Oxx, typically, has more than maintained his dignity and that’s why so many took so much pleasure from the possibility he may well have another major player on his hands in My Titania.

The fact she is a daughter of Sea The Stars meant she was always going to attract more than her fair share of attention anyway, at least until there wasn’t much point any more.

But the early signs are very promising and the similarities between herself and her father are already striking.

Sea The Stars could only finish fourth on his debut and then was never beaten again, scoring eight times in a row.

He ran three times as a juvenile, ending with a less than spectacular display when winning the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

In the Beresford, he scrambled to a half a length defeat of his stable companion, Mourayan, who was a useful horse in his own right.

My Titania was also beaten on her debut and followed by easily taking her maiden at Leopardstown.

The Curragh on Sunday was her third and last outing of the campaign and, you’d have to say, she produced a Sea The Stars like display.

My Titania came there literally pulling a train well over a furlong down and looked set for a smooth and impressive victory.

But she probably hit the front far too early and was essentially all out in the closing stages to hold the well exposed Chicago Girl by half a length.

The bare form is certainly ordinary, although encouragement can be got from the fact the third, Dermot Weld’s highly regarded Tarfasha, was a further five and a half lengths behind.

Sea The Stars never destroyed the opposition either. The furthest he ever won was by two and a half lengths, on two occasions.

Add in the fact that he made massive improvement from two to three and Oxx, Aga Khan or no Aga Khan, is entitled to feel a fair amount of warmth this coming winter!

Make a note of Aidan O’Brien’s John Constable, who has cost his supporters an absolute bundle in two outings to date.

He made his debut over a mile at Gowran Park in September, going off a well-backed 5-4 favourite to beat 14 rivals.

He could only manage fourth behind Jim Bolger’s Mandatario, however, never promising to deliver.

Then at Roscommon on Monday, dropping back to seven furlongs, which in hindsight was less than ideal, John Constable was supported as if defeat was simply out of the question.

He left the gate as an 8-15 shot, blissfully unaware of how much responsibility had been heaped on his young shoulders.

Truth to tell, he was always fighting a losing battle and was literally outpaced from the start.

In the end, he was beaten a head and the same into third behind another Bolger inmate, Intensical, and a newcomer of Ger Lyons’, Vector Force.

But there was much to admire in the performance of John Constable. He was struggling throughout, but kept finding for Joseph O’Brien and was doing all of his best work at the end.

I’m willing to bet that, as a son of Montjeu, he is crying out for some juice in the surface and will have no hesitation backing that opinion with hard cash, given the right circumstances.

Eye Of The Storm beat Missunited by three parts of a length in a two-mile Listed race at the Curragh on Sunday, both horses emerging with great credit.

Michael Winters appears to be bursting to aim Missunited at the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and a date with the five-timer winner of that race, the incomparable Quevega.

On the handicapper’s figures, it would be rather optimistic to give Missunited a chance against Willie Mullins’ flying machine.

Quevega is currently rated 167, while Missunited has plenty of climbing to do off a mark of 145.

But if you’re not in you can’t win and it is well to take note of the improvement Missunited has shown on the flat.

The first rating she was given at that game was 79, while it now stands at 105. That means she has come forward by a whopping 26lbs. Missunited only has 22lbs to find to rattle Quevega!

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