Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Murtagh and Oxx at the double

Trainer John Oxx

Johnny Murtagh and John Oxx completed a Leopardstown double as Call To Battle (7-2) claimed the Eyrefield Stakes.

The Curragh maiden winner travelled nicely into the straight and saw out the nine-furlong trip in determined style.

Alla Speranza, the only filly in the field, was giving it everything as the line approached but had to made do with a half-length second.

Oxx said: "I'm delighted, he won well. He stays well and gets through that ground. He is well named as he finds a bit extra. He will be a nice horse over a distance next year. He is from a good family and could be a St Leger horse.

"Hopefully he will run in good races as he is a Listed winner now. It remains to be seen how he will handle good ground."

Murtagh sealed the Flat Jockeys' title after guiding Takar to a facile victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C & G) Maiden.

The Oxx-trained 11-4 favourite could be spotted travelling strongly before the turn for home and devoured the ground in the straight to win as he liked by eight lengths from Place Vendome.

Oxx said: "He won well. I was afraid the ground was a bit gluey for him. He ran well at the Curragh but probably needed the run and found a mile a bit far. He doesn't move like he would travel on soft ground but he did it well.

"He will start off in a Listed race next year and he has plenty of ability. He is athletic and is out of a good mare (Takarouna) who won the Pretty Polly. He should be a stakes horse."

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