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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Oxx and Murtagh pay tribute to ‘one of a kind’ Jack O’Shea

Sinndar: Jack O'Shea and Johnny Murtagh together after Sinndar won the Epsom Derby in 2000
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John Oxx and Johnny Murtagh have paid tribute to Jack O’Shea, who was a part of the Currabeg fabric for almost 50 years and has died aged 68.

O’Shea, who was described as "old school" by both men, looked after many top horses, including Ridgewood Pearl, Sinndar, Azamour, Namid and Ebadiyla.

Oxx said: “Jack was still a regular visitor here even during his illness and remained very interested in racing after retiring a few years ago. 

“There was no coincidence that good horses thrived under his care. He had a very calm personality and horses did well under him.

"He was with my father before I set up training and he was involved in the breaking of horses and usually pointed out the good ones at an early stage. He never seemed to miss the good ones.”

He added: “Jack was a terrific man and he just loved horses. People like him don’t come around very often and you can say he was one of a kind really. He never drove a car and cycled to work every day. In all my time knowing him I never saw him lose his temper or complain about anything.”

Murtagh was led up to many big-race successes by O’Shea and said: “When I first went to John Oxx’s, Jack was the first person I was sent to. He taught me everything I needed to know regarding horse management and looking after horses properly.

“It wasn’t an accident that Jack looked after so many good horses. He had a gift and was a very special person.”

O’Shea is survived by his partner Eileen, brothers Tom, Noel and Gerry, and sister Mary.

There was no coincidence that good horses thrived under his care. He had a very calm personality and horses did well under him
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