©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
A decision regarding the Aga Khan's next retained jockey is not expected for some time according to John Oxx, who was speaking after training that owner's Zand, ridden by apparent contender for the job Declan McDonogh, to win the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund (C&G) Maiden at Leopardstown today.
The 4/5 favourite showed the benefit from his good debut run when readily defeating newcomers Ghaamer and Piet Mondrian.
Oxx later stated “His Highness (the Aga Khan) has been away and there's no great urgency (with filling the position) – we'll sort it out when the season is over. The country is full of good jockeys but a lot of them have good jobs already.”
Regarding Zand, Oxx stated “he won handy and he did everything right. He stayed on well and took a bit of pulling up. He'll get a trip but is by Zamindar, who is bred to get fast horses. However when you put a Kayhasi mare to him they tend to get a bit of distance. It's a blend that has worked well with Zarkava.
“Zand should be a nice horse next year over a bit of a distance and he could start off in something like the Ballysax Stakes.”
On course reporting by Gary Carson.