Oxx filly may run in US
There may be no definite news about the future of the Arc winner, Sinndar, but there are more definite plans for some of his stable companions, with the Prix de l'Abbaye winner, Namid, set to go to stud and John Oxx's other Longchamp winner, Mouramara, on track for a test in America.
The Grade Two Long Island Handicap over a mile and a half at Aqueduct on November 11th is being eyed by Oxx for the Aga Khan-owned Mouramara who landed the Group Two Prix Royallieu over the Longchamp Arc weekend.
Mouramara is in some bookmakers' lists for the Breeders' Cup Mares & Fillies race but is not currently eligible for the Churchill Downs race, and the cost of making her Breeders' Cup-eligible is proving prohibitive.
"Horses now have to be nominated as foals, and she wasn't. It would cost $180,000 to get her into the Breeders' Cup Turf and $90,000 to get her into the Mares and Fillies race, so we may travel to the States for a lesser race. Lots of European horses over the years have done well in the Aqueduct race and that would be a realistic target," Oxx said yesterday.
The Prix Royal Oak in 13 days time, regarded as the French St Leger, is an unlikely target for Mouramara because of the near two-mile trip and the probability of soft ground.
Namid's racing career, however, is more than likely finished despite his entry in the Hong Kong international sprint in December. "I wouldn't think he will run in that or race next year, as there has been a lot of interest in him as a stallion," confirmed Oxx, who also reported that no decision about whether Sinndar will race next year or retire to stud has been made.
Oxx and his stable jockey John Murtagh will be central players at Punchestown's flat card this afternoon when there are a total of five races over the seven-furlong track.
One of them is the first division of the fillies' maiden, where Oxx unveils the newcomer, Appreciation, a daughter of Caerleon and the Irish Oaks winner Alydaress. If she lives up to anywhere near her breeding, Appreciation will be hard to beat; but in the second division Oxx's Dearly may have to give best to Love Me True.
Seamus Heffernan had a fruitless trip to New York on Saturday when Chimes At Midnight ran last of the 12 runners in the Turf Classic behind John's Call but can go better here when he teams up with the Austin Leahy pair, Hangar Straight and Lisselan Fairways.