John Oxx’s Ebanoran makes winning debut at the Curragh
‘It’s difficult to know what distance he’ll want next year but he seems to have the gears’
Ebanoran’s trainer John Oxx. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
John Oxx will start Ebanoran off on a Classic campaign next year after the colt made a winning racecourse debut at the Curragh.
Oxx will have significantly fewer of the Aga Khan’s horses to train next season after the owner-breeder decided on a shake-up of his portfolio, but he has unleashed a couple of the Aga’s other nice prospects this month in Ebasani and Marakoush.
Ebanoran (7-2), by Oasis Dream and out of Irish Oaks winner Ebadiyla, had been entered in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby before lining up in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.
Facing unraced representatives from all of Ireland’s top stables, Ebanoran found plenty for Declan McDonogh and passed the line a head in front of Table Rock, with Oxx’s Ponfeigh shaping well in third.
It was only the trainer’s 18th winner of the season, and he said: “It’s a mix of a pedigree, being by a sprinter out of a stayer. It’s difficult to know what distance he’ll want next year but he seems to have the gears they were trying to put in the pedigree.
“The Killavullan Stakes comes a bit quick so we’ll leave him off, but he’ll be a nice horse for next year. We’ll start him off in a Guineas trial early next year and see where he goes from there.”
Rather more prolific have been Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, who combined in the six-furlong and the mile fillies’ maidens. Joseph, who broke Mick Kinane’s 20-year mark of 115 winners in an Irish season last week, started off with Dance With Another (3-1) over the longer trip.
Carrying the colours of Mrs Richard Henry, Dance With Another had taken a marked step forward when third over course and distance last month but needed to be pushed right out to stave off Achnaha by three-quarters of a length.
Aidan O’Brien said: “When she got to the front she just veered around a bit and Joseph said she probably wants to get there later, her dam was a bit like that also. She probably won’t run again this year but we’ll start her off early next year. She’ll stay well and should handle a dig in the ground.”
Sparrow (4-9 favourite) was three lengths in front of Dance with Another on her previous start, and was far too good back in trip as she cruised past the line two and three-quarter lengths to the good.
Some focus was on the racecourse debut of Dawn Approach’s full-sister Prudent Approach, but she dropped away slightly tamely after showing up well early on.
O’Brien snr said: “We’ll leave her off until next year and start her off in one of the Guineas trials. Joseph felt she would like to go up in trip and she won’t be going back to sprints.”
Greek Canyon (11-2) shaded a head-bobbing finish to the Join Go Racing In Kildare 2014 Handicap.
Shane Lyons, brother and assistant to trainer Ger, said: “As long as the ground stays good he’ll keep going, but he has never really acted at Dundalk. He’s with us for life though so he’ll get another try (at Dundalk) at some stage. He’s a real stable pet!”
Joanna Morgan’s Ancient Sands (8-1) made it three on the bounce in the Buy Online At Curragh.ie Handicap, while the Curragh Training Grounds Handicap went to 20-1 shot C’est Ma Souer.