County Of Origin: Kildare
Date of licence: 1979
First winner: Orchestra (Raymond Carrroll) Rank Cup, Phoenix Park, March 31, 1979
Final winner: Storm Legend (Chris Hayes) Naas, November 1, 2020
First Group winner: Orchestra (Raymond Carroll) Group 3 Whitehall Stakes, Phoenix Park, September 8, 1979
First Group 1 winner: Eurobird (Cash Asmussen) Irish St Leger, Curragh. October 11, 1987
Champion Trainer: 1995
Significant horses (selected): Sea The Stars, Eurobird, Kastoria, Azamour, Alamshar, Sinndar, Enzeli, Edabiya, Winona, Namid, Ebadiyla, Key Change, Timarida, Ridgewood Pearl, Heart Lake, Manntari, George Augustus, Petite Ile, Orchestra, Saddler's Rock, Alandi, Manieree, Mouramara, Takali.
Did you know:
John Oxx began training in 1979 and secured his first success with the five-year-old Orchestra which won the Rank Cup at the Phoenix Park on March 31, 1979. Oxx is one of Ireland’s most respected and successful
trainers, gaining a reputation for his unrivalled patience with his horses as
well as being renowned for his gentlemanly demeanour. He gained his first Group 1 and his first Classic success when Eurobird won the Irish St Leger at the Curragh in 1987.
Oxx was Ireland’s champion trainer in 1995, the year that European Champion three-year-old filly Ridgewood Pearl reigned supreme in the colours of her locally-based breeders, Sean and Ann Coughlan. Ridgewood Pearl won the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes, Prix Du Moulin and Breeders' Cup Mile during that terrific season that saw her win at the highest level in four different countries. His father, also John, was champion trainer in 1958.
Five years later, he trained the brilliant Sinndar to become the first horse to win the Epsom Derby, the Irish Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the same year. The likes of Manntari, Timarida, Ebadiyla, Alamshar, Azamour, Kastoria and Alandi were winners at Group 1 level for Oxx who famously enjoyed the best of times with the legendary Sea The Stars.
In 2009, Sea The Stars gave his trainer his first win in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and was to record six consecutive Group 1 triumphs that year. Success followed in the Epsom Derby, the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. Sea The Stars is the only horse to complete the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc treble.
On Monday, October 12, 2020, Oxx announced that he would be retiring from the training ranks at the end of the 2020 Irish Flat season, bringing to an end a 41-year career that saw him send out 33 Group 1 winners. He said, "The time is right and we're happy to stop at the end of the season. You obviously don't make these sort of decisions on the spur of the moment so it's been on our minds for a few years. I have no regrets, we had some wonderful times. We were very, very lucky to have some very good owners and some very good horses over the years."
John Oxx sent out his final winner, the Chris Hayes-ridden Storm Legend, at Naas on Sunday, November 1, 2020 and had his final runners at the Curragh the following afternoon. He wrapped up his training career by telling the racing press, "I'll still be going racing a bit. I would miss the people and seeing old friends, which is what it's really all about. I would miss that if I just became a recluse at home and just watched it on television. You need to meet people.
“I would like to thank all of the people who have sent messages. We have been a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing and we will try and get around to writing to people as best we can. I just want to thank all of the many supporters we have had. It has been our pleasure.
“I'll be doing a few bits for people. I won't be too busy but I'll hopefully be busy enough. On a fine day you wouldn't have any excuse not to come up here to the Curragh, so that's what I'll be. A fair-weather racegoer!”