Irish Racing Greats
LEADING FLAT TRAINERS DOWN THE YEARS _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

RODERIC MORE O'FERRALL
Born: Co Kildare, 1903-1990

AS a trainer Roderic More O'Ferrall had five Irish Classic winners: Star of Egypt (1930 1,000 Guineas), Beaudelaire (1931 St Leger), Nearchus (1938 2,000 Guineas), Khosro (1941 2,000 Guineas) and Admirable (1945 Oaks). 
 After his retirement from training in 1947, to concentrate on his family's Kildangan Stud operation, he became owner-breeder of Ambergis (1961 Irish Oaks), Abermaid (1962 English 1,000 Guineas), Parnell (1971 Irish St Leger) and Rosananti (1962 Premio Regina Elena). Other Classic winners he bred, but who did not carry his colours, were Nearula (1953 English 2,000 Guineas) and Katies (1984 Irish 1,000 Guineas). Was a founder member of the Irish Bloodstock Breeders' Association (IBBA) and a prime mover in the amalgamation of the IBBA and the Irish Thoroughbred Broodmare Owners' Association into the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.

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JOHN M OXX
Born: Co Kildare, 1950

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A QUALIFIED veterinary surgeon, John Mortimer Oxx (MVB, MRCVS) has met with ever increasing success since taking over from his father, the late John (who was also a talented member of the profession, training 8 Classic winners) in 1979. Has had tremendous success with fillies but enjoyed his greatest moments with the colts Sea The Stars, Sinndar, Alamshar and Azamour, the last 3 owned by his main patron, the Aga Khan.
 Sinndar struck gold in the 2000 Epsom Derby (Oxx's first runner in the race) and then followed up in the Irish equivalent (becoming only the 13th horse to complete the coveted Epsom-Curragh Derby double) before landing Europe's premier race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (becoming the first Irish-trained winner since Alleged 22 years previously and the first horse to complete the big-race treble). That same afternoon at Longchamp Namid gave him his second Group 1 win in the Prix l'Abbaye.
 More glory was to follow with Alamshar who credited him with his second Irish Derby success in 2003 before going on to land the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

 Teamed up with jockey Michael Kinane in 2004, the new partnership cemented by the victories of Azamour in the St James's Palace Stakes (2004), Irish Champion Stakes (2004), the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (2005).
 Kastoria's victory in the 2006 Irish St Leger would have given him immense satisfaction as it equalled his late father's tally of 8 in number of Irish-trained Classic winners.
 Struck with just his second runner in the stanjames.com 2,000 Guineas when Sea The Stars powered home in the first Classic of the season at Newmarket in 2009 and the colt became the first horse since Nashwan in 1989 to complete the Derby-Guineas double under a power-packed ride from Kinane, who was just two weeks short of his 50th birthday. Better was to come as Sea The Stars became only the fifth horse since 1900 and the first since Nashwan in 1989 to complete the Eclipse, Derby and 2,000 Guineas treble before going on to land his fourth Group One in the Juddmonte International at York. Confirmed himself as one of the best horses to race in Europe in recent years at Leopardstown when winning his fifth consecutive Group 1 of the season in the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes before joining the equine greats by becoming the first horse in history to complete the Guineas-Derby-Arc treble with a stunning victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. That same afternoon at Longchamp Alandi gave Oxx his second Group 1 win in the Qatar Prix du Cadran.
  First hit the international big time in 1995 when Ridgewood Pearl landed the Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park. Earlier that season the filly had given him his first Irish 1,000 Guineas before going on to further glory in the Coronation Stakes and Prix du Moulin. That year (he also sent globetrotter Timarida to Canada to win the Grade Two E P Taylor Stakes)  he made a clean sweep on the domestic front where he lifted both trainers' titles with win prize-money of 650,391 and a numerical total of 99 winners, 19 winners more than his 2002 total (80) which gave him His second trainers' title based on number of winners. His present domestic tally is 1,670 winners (1979-2008).
 One of Ireland's big-name and most popular trainers since the early 80s, his other Classic victories were achieved with Eurobird (1987 Irish St Leger); Petite Ile (1989 Irish St Leger); Ebadiyla (1997 Irish Oaks and 1997 Prix Royal-Oak, French St Leger); Winona (1998 Irish Oaks) and Alandi (2009 Irish St Leger).
 Enzeli put up a remarkable performance to win Royal Ascot's Gold Cup in 1999 - the first  Irish-trained winner since Levmoss 30 years previously - for the Aga Khan, who transferred many of  his horses to Oxx after pulling out of British racing in the aftermath of the Aliysa affair. He is also Sheikh Mohammed's number one trainer in Ireland. His other Group 1 winners at Royal Ascot are Azamour (2004 St James's Palace Stakes) and Ridgewood Pearl (1995 Coronation Stakes), giving him a grand total of 7 winners at the Royal meeting.
 A former chairman of the Irish National Stud and the Irish Racehorse Trainers' Association, he was a member of the Irish Horseracing Authority (IHA) 

OXX FACTFILE

 Born: July 14, 1950.

 Married: To Catriona; three children, Deirdre, Aoife and Kevin.

 First winner: Orchestra, Phoenix Park, March 31, 1979.

 Irish Classic winners (9): Eurobird (1987 St Leger); Petite Ile (1989 St Leger); Ridgewood Pearl (1995 1,000 Guineas); Ebadiyla (1997 Oaks); Winona (1998 Oaks); Sinndar (2000 Derby); Alamshar (2003 Derby); Kastoria (2006 St Leger); Alandi (2009 St Leger).

 English Classic winners (3): Sinndar (2000 Derby); Sea The Stars (2009 2,000 Guineas); Sea The Stars (2009 Derby).

 French Classic winner: Ebadiyla (1997 Prix Royal-Oak, French St Leger).

 King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winners (2): Alamshar (2003); Azamour (2005).

 Breeders' Cup winner: Ridgewood Pearl (1995 Breeders' Cup Mile).

 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winners (2): Sinndar (2000); Sea The Stars (2009).

 Irish Champion Stakes winners (3): Timarida (1996); Azamour (2004); Sea The Stars (2009).

 World record: Sea The Stars became the only horse in history to win the English 2,000 Guineas, the English Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2009.

 Consecutive Group 1 wins (6): Sea The Stars (English 2,000 Guineas, English Derby, Eclipse Stakes, Juddmonte International Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe).

 Other details: Was chairman of the Irish National Stud from 1985 to 1990 and held the same position with the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association from 1986 to 1991 and from 1993 to 1996. He has also served on the committees of the Irish Equine Centre Board, Irish Horseracing Authority, Punchestown and Mallow racecourses and RACE. He has been chairman of Leopardstown racecourse since 2007.

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JOHN OXX SNR
Born: Co Kildare, 1910-1987

JOHN OXX SNR

THE hallmark of John Oxx's 36-year career (1943-1978) was his handling of many fine fillies for wealthy bloodstock breeders. His first of eight Irish Classic winners was Solferino - who foiled The Phoenix's Irish Triple Crown bid - in the St Leger (1943). The Irish Oaks, a favourite hunting ground, was to yield a total of four victories with Lynchris (1960) - who went on to win the Yorkshsire Oaks and Irish St Leger - Hibernia 111 (1963), Merry Mate (1966) and Pampalina (1967). Sorbus was controversially disqualified in the 1978 running of the race after defeating Epsom Oaks heroine Fair Salinia. Biscayne gave him a hat-trick of St Leger wins in 1964. Perhaps the best colt he handled was Arctic Storm, winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas, who was unlucky to be beaten a short head by Tambourine 11 in the first running of the Irish Sweeps Derby (1962). He was the subsequent winner of Newmarket's Champion Stakes. Carrig Willy's win in the Naas November Handicap (1978) was his last. His son, John, has carried on the success in the same unobtrusive manner at the family's Currabeg stables on the Curragh.
 

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SENATOR JIM PARKINSON
Born: Co Waterford, 1870-1948

A veterinary surgeon from Tramore, James Joseph Parkinson trained at Maddenstown stables on the Curragh for half a century with remarkable success. Won six Irish Classics, comprising two Derbys (First Flier 1917, Loch Lomond 1919) and four Oaks (Royal Mantle 1901, Blakestown 1905, Shining Way 1912 and Athgreany 1913). His career total of 2,577 winners was an Irish record until Dermot Weld boke it in the summer of 2000. It took 67 years for his other significant benchmark to be broken. His 137 wins (Flat and jumps combined) in a year, set in 1923, was broken by Jim Bolger in 1990 (it is currently held by Aidan O'Brien). Was champion trainer eight times in terms of money won and an astonishing 23 times in races won. He owned most of them himself and was champion owner 20 times in races won and twice in money won. Trained 1907 Epsom Derby winner Orby as a two-year-old but lost the horse at the end of that season after a row with his owner "Boss" Croker. Most of his horses were sold for export, adding significantly to Ireland's reputation as a prime breeding ground for top quality horses. A man of many parts, he was appointed to the Senate of the newly-founded Irish Free State in 1922 and served there until 1947. He owned a stud and was a director of Irish Tote Investors, Goffs and Limerick Junction and Tramore racecourses. His son, Billy, was leading jockey (riding as an amateur) in 1915 and 1916. His great grandson is the much-respected racing journalist Tony Sweeney.

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PADDY J PRENDERGAST
Born: Co Kildare, 1909-1980

PADDY J PRENDERGAST

PADDY Prendergast - more popularly known as "Darkie" - was the first trainer to bring Ireland into the international arena and apart from Vincent O'Brien contributed more than any other in establishing the country as a major racing power. Took out a trainer's licence in 1940 and his handling of precocious two-year-olds was supreme.
 His first training success in England came in that division with subsequent Royal Ascot winner Port Blanc at Goodwood (1945). Windy City, his fastest two-year-old, headed the Free Handicaps in Ireland, England and France (1950) before his departure to America. Other exceptional juveniles to blaze their way to glory both at home and abroad were La Tendresse, Floribunda, Noblesse (who never ran in Ireland), Sixpence, Gold Cup, The Pie King and Paddy's Sister. His record in the top two-year-old races in England was exceptional, winning the Gimcrack (York) four times, the Champagne Stakes (Doncaster) five times and the Coventry Stakes (Royal Ascot) six times.
 Saddled 17 Irish Classic winners, putting him joint third on the all-time list. The role of honour reads: five 1,000 Guineas (Princess Trudy 1950 - his first - Gazpacho 1963, Wenduyne 1969, Sarah Siddons 1976 and More So 1978); four 2,000 Guineas (Kythnos 1960, Linacre 1963, Ballymore 1972 and Nikoli 1980); four Derbys (Dark Warrior 1950, Thirteen of Diamonds 1952, Ragusa 1963 and Meadow Court 1965); one Oaks (Five Spots 1952); three St Legers (Arctic Vale 1962, Christmas Island 1963 and Mistigri 1974). Martial (1960 2,000 Guineas) was his first winner in an English Classic, followed by Noblesse (1963 Oaks); Ragusa (1963 St Leger) and Pourparler (1964 1,000 Guineas).
 Thanks to Ragusa (who also won the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Diamond and the Great Voltigeur Stakes), Noblesse and Khalkis (winner of the Eclipse), he became the first Irish-based trainer to be crowned champion in England in 1963, a feat he repeated in 1964 (Ragusa winning the Eclipse, Linacre the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes and Hardicanute the Timeform Gold Cup) and 1965 (Meadow Court landing the King George, after finishing second to the great Sea-Bird in the Epsom Derby, and Carlemont the Sussex Stakes).
 Was banned (1952) for nearly a year by the Jockey Club stewards - a decision not rubber-stamped by their Irish counterparts - from running horses in England following an inquiry into the running of Blue Sail at Ascot. It was lifted in time for him to launch a blitz on his favourite York meeting which yielded four winners (including Blue Sail) from five runners.
 The winner of 22 races at Royal Ascot, he died on June 20th, 1980 - the last day of the Royal meeting. Sons Kevin (winner of seven Irish Classics) and Paddy continue to train from their Curragh bases.

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KEVIN PRENDERGAST
Born: Australia, 1932

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APART from the years in which he has headed the trainers' list in number of winners (1970, 1971, 1975, 1978 and 1980), there have been few seasons in which Kevin Prendergast has not figured in the top bracket since he trained his first winner, Zara (whom he also rode), in 1962.
 Went to Australia in 1950 where he worked for the late Sydney trainer Frank Dalton for four years. Returned in 1954 to work for his father the late, great P J ("Darkie") Prendergast. Has sent out the winners of seven Irish Classics: Pidget (1972 1,000 Guineas and St Leger); Conor Pass (1973 St Leger); Northern Treasure (1977 2,000 Guineas); Arctique Royale (1981 1,000 Guineas) and Oscar Schindler (1996 and 1997 St Legers).
 Although the record books have P J inscribed as the trainer of Nikoli, it was Kevin who expertly handled the colt for his victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas (1980) because of an illness to his father. 

 Hit the international big time with the victory of Nebbiolo (winner of York's Gimcrack Stakes as a juvenile) in the English 2,000 Guineas in 1977. Saddled Ardross to win the Jockey Club Cup (1980) - the same day Snow won the Sun Chariot Stakes - before his departure to greater glory with Henry Cecil. His four Royal Ascot winners are Ore (Queen's Vase 1981 and Queen Alexandra Stakes 1982), Oscar Schindler (Hardwicke Stakes 1996) and Verglas (Coventry Stakes 1996).
 Other successes of note were Bradawn Breever (1991 Heinz 57), Areola (1970 Heinz 57), Arctique Royale (1980 Moyglare Stud Stakes), Polaire (1999 Pretty Polly Stakes), Rebelline (2001 Pretty Polly Stakes and 2002 Tattersalls Gold Cup), Miss Beatrix (2006 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Goffs Million), Termagant (2009 Moyglare Stud Stakes), Kingsfort (2009 Vincent O'Brien National Stakes) and La Collina (2011 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes - formerly the Heinz 57).
 Enjoyed one of his best ever seasons when finishing runner-up to Aidan O'Brien in 2006 with win prize-money of 2,241,058 and 52 winners. Tell The Wind gave him his 2,000th winner as a trainer at Dundalk in 2010.

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CAPT DARBY ROGERS

A son of Jack Rogers, Capt Darby Rogers (Thomas Duggan) returned to Ireland from England after the death of his father in 1940. That year he trained the first of eight Irish Classic winners from his base at Curragh Grange when Harvest Feast landed the St Leger, a race he was to secure five years later with Spam. His six other Classic successes were: two 1,000 Guineas (Dark Issue - owned by Sir Winston Chruchill - 1955 and Northern Gleam 1953); two 2,000 Guineas (Signal Box 1951 and Mighty Ocean 1950); one Derby (Bright News 1946) and one Oaks (Desert Drive 1947). Heron Bridge, who won the Champion Stakes at the Curragh (a race his trainer won no fewer than nine times), was a particular favourite. He retired in 1961 on a winning note after Erskine scored at Navan, November 25th. Son Mickey won the Epsom Derby with Hard Ridden and Santa Claus. Another son, Tim, owned the very successful Airlie Stud in Lucan, Co Dublin.

  

 Irish Racing Greats 2006

 

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