John Oxx and Patrick Prendergast to join forces from the Curragh
Sea The Stars trainer will work with Prendergast’s promising filly Skitter Scatter
Sea the Stars wins the 2009 Irish Champion Stakes. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Renowned Curragh trainer John Oxx has got a significant New Year boost with news he will train the Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Skitter Scatter in 2019.
The classic contender is one of a large number of horses who are set to make the short journey to Oxx’s Currabeg yard from Patrick Prendergast’s nearby stables.
Prendergast himself will join the Oxx team having decided not to renew his licence despite 2018 having been his most successful year to date as a trainer.
“Patrick is moving to work for me, and with a good proportion of his horses,” Oxx confirmed on Friday. “He’s bringing as many of his horses as he can. He’s spoken to his owners and got quite a lot of support for it. His main owners are behind it.”
They include Anthony and Sonia Rogers in whose colours Skitter Scatter runs. She won four of her seven races last season, culminating in a hugely popular Group One victory in the Moyglare.
“Patrick has her and quite a few other good horses too. It’s coming along at the right time,” added Oxx.
It is a timely boost for the former champion trainer who is approaching 2,000 career winners although having endured a near-ten year drought at Group One level.
His last success at the top-flight was Alandi in the 2009 Prix Du Cadran at Longchamp, shortly after Sea The Stars recorded a famous success in the Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe.
Having lost the patronage of Alandi’s owner the Aga Khan during the economic downturn, Oxx’s fortunes dipped.
However there has been a slow resurgence in recent seasons at the historic Currabeg yard and Skitter Scatter in particular promises a return to the successful top-flight competition.
“Patrick doesn’t want to be the trainer and is happy to come and work for me. The yards are a few hundred yards apart as the crow flies, with a railway line in between, but we used the same gallops on the Curragh.
“The horses are moving to my place, they are not going to stay at Melitta Lodge, he won’t be training from there.
“It’s a good boost for us. He’s got some good horses. I haven’t seen Skitter Scatter yet and Patrick says she’s small and he doesn’t know how much scope she has. But she’s been a very good filly already,” Oxx added.
Other champions through Oxx’s hands in the past include the classic winners Alamshar and Ridgewood Pearl while Sinndar memorably won both the Derby and the Arc in 2000.