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Oxx plays down Minsk chances

Tue, 18 September 2012

John Oxx expects Minsk to benefit greatly from the outing when he returns to action at Listowel on Wednesday.

The four-year-old goes for the Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes after last being seen over hurdles at Fairyhouse in late February when he was second on his hurdling debut.

Minsk had been towards the top of the ante-post betting for the Triumph Hurdle before that race, his only run to date for Dessie Hughes. He had a successful end of season on the Flat for Oxx, wining his last three starts, culminating in the Irish Cesarewitch.

"We had a great autumn with him last year and he had just the one run over hurdles for Dessie Hughes in the spring, so he's had a good long break," said Oxx.

"He came back to me in early June. He did well over the winter and put plenty of weight on so it's taken us quite a while to get him ready.

"He needs the run. We have to get him out and the plan is to run him in this Listed race then another at the Curragh in mid-October, the Finale Stakes, then he'll return to Dessie for the winter.

"I'm sure he'll be in a maiden hurdle in November. We're just getting him started. It's a small field and I think he'll run a good race but it will be testing ground and he'll need the run. He's done as much at home as he can, but I can't see him being at his best just yet."