Oxx: Vinnie will be tough nut to crack

RIVAL trainer John Oxx admits Vinnie Roe will be “a tough nut to crack” as he bids for a fifth consecutive win in tomorrow's Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh.

Dermot Weld’s charge has notched up an amazing sequence of wins in the all-aged Classic but Oxx is aiming to break his hold with either Shalapour or Mkuzi.

Although Oxx would love to take the one-mile-six-furlong event, he is full of admiration for Vinnie Roe.

“It’s difficult to win it once and it’s certainly difficult to win it twice, so to keep doing it is remarkable,” he told At The Races.

“He likes the Curragh, it’s his race, the perfect distance for him at a time of the year when we often get some ease in the ground and it just suits him perfectly.

“He’s a tough nut to crack there.”

Shalapour is well fancied to end Vinnie Roe’s Leger reign with Ladbrokes making him the 3-1 joint second favourite.

The Darshaan colt is the only three-year-old in the line up and has impressed on his two most recent starts, finishing third in the Irish Derby before running second in a decent Listed contest.

Vinnie Roe was one and a half lengths behind Shalapour there but the younger runner did have over a stone in hand that day.

“I was delighted he ran as well as he did and Chelsea Rose, who beat the two of them, is a very good filly,” Oxx said.

“It was good prep race and I’m sure Dermot was happy with Vinnie Roe as well.

“Saturday will be a different race and a different test - they might have slightly slower ground too which will favour Vinnie Roe.

“Our fellow seems to have come on nicely from that run and should be in better shape this time.”

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