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John Oxx points towards Platinum Stakes for exciting Waikuku

John Oxx is considering rolling the dice for the third time this month with the hat-trick-seeking Night Of Power by stepping him up to a mile and three-quarters in the Kingdom of Bahrain Vinnie Roe Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday.

The Classic-winning trainer could give Waikuku the chance to continue to make up for lost time in the next month’s Platinum Stakes at Cork.

Oxx said: “He was a promising horse and had good form in a very good maiden last year and nearly all the horses around him from that are now rated between 100 and a 112.

“It was nice to see him come out first time this year and win smoothly. I’m looking at potentially running him in a winner of one race at Gowran or maybe the Platinum Stakes, which is a Listed race at Cork.

“It was nothing serious that kept him out. He was just not sparkling enough in the winter and he was a little off-colour, then he just pulled a muscle in his shoulder.

“We had to give a bit of time off and the next thing you know it is July.

“We thought he was a nice horse that would maybe win a maiden, then go for a Guineas trial early in the year. The ground was very heavy then until mid-May, so he probably wouldn’t have run in one anyway.

“He likes fast ground so it may have all worked out in his favour. Sometimes it is better if Plan A doesn’t work and hopefully he will now blossom in the second half of the season.”

Oxx has earmarked the mile Listed contest as one of two potential races for the three-year-old son of Harbour Watch, after he made winning return to action at Leopardstown last week.

The in-form Currabeg handler said: “We ran him as an experiment last time over a mile and a half and he did it nicely. He settled well and quickened up well.

“He has a stakes-race entry and may run in that, but it is another step up in trip and in class, so it could be a bridge too far.

“He has taken his last race really well and he likes fast ground. I will talk to the owners and if all is well in the next couple of days there is a possibility he might run.”

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