The grey Aklan under Ben Curtis just holds on from stablemate Ebazan under Johnny Murtagh
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over a mile and two for 3yo's only, saw two John Oxx trained newcomers battle out the finish with 16/1 shot Aklan under Ben Curtis just getting the better of stable companion Ebazan (9/2) under Johnny Murtagh by a short head.
The winner who is a gelded, grey son of Dalakhani made good headway on the inner as they entered the straight, progressing to lead two furlongs out taking over from his front running stablemate Ebazan.
When ridden he kept on well inside the final furlong to just hold off the renewed challenge of Ebazan.
The pair were half a length in front of the third placed horse who was Marchese Marconi for Aidan & Joseph O’Brien at 4/1.
The well supported 3/1 favourite (backed from opening show of 13/2) Lebron, who is a full-brother to Seville, finished a disappointing eighth under Colm O’Donogue for Aidan O’Brien.
Winning trainer John Oxx said afterwards: "I could have run eight to ten in the race. All of mine ran well.
"I didn't have him last year. He came to me during the winter and he was still raw. He loves soft ground and he stays well.
"It's a bit of a pain in the neck trying to find a race for him now as he is not a classic type and he has won his maiden first time out.
"He will be impeded by both the weather and the program of races. He won’t run on ground that is fast."
Oxx went on to talk about the runner-up saying: "He was at a disadvantage by making the running but he should come on for the run and he will be better on faster ground."
The winner is a half-brother to the Evan Williams trained six time National Hunt winner Akarshan, as well as the three time winner Anak, who won once for John Oxx on the level and twice under National Hunt rules for Jim Best.
His is also a half-brother to Akatara who was placed five times over hurdles for Michael Bowe.