Oxx targets Gold Cup with Rock
John Oxx has a clutch of older horses who could make their mark when the Flat season gets into full swing this year and they are headed by Doncaster Cup winner Saddler's Rock.
The four-year-old improved throughout last season, winning a 12-furlong Tipperary maiden in June before slamming a handicap field at Leopardstown and then finishing third in the Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh. He relished the two and a quarter miles of the Doncaster Cup to take the Group Two prize.
"I'm pleased with him at the moment. The plan would be for him to start off in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan on May 20 and all going well there, he'd then go to Royal Ascot (for the Gold Cup)," said the trainer.
"Given he's stayed two and a quarter miles at Doncaster as a three-year-old, you would be hopeful he'd stay the trip at Ascot (two and a half miles) all right."
Oxx is also hoping for a good season with Alanza, who won three on the bounce last year including the Sceptre Stakes (Group Three) at Doncaster, and was not disgraced in finishing sixth at Group One level in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on her final start.
The trainer added: "Alanza is a filly who did well for us last year, winning three times. She'll probably start off in a mile Group Three race on Guineas day at the Curragh and then hopefully run in all the good fillies' mile races."
One Oxx inmate who will unfortunately not see the racecourse much this season is Manieree. She impressed in the Blandford Stakes at the Curragh last September, but has met with an early setback.
"Unfortunately she has had a little bit of a problem and I don't think she'll be running until September," said Oxx.
"It's disappointing as we were hoping for a productive year with her, but she needs some time off so we'll bring her back later on in the year, hopefully."