Friday's Racing Tips

What A Winner Looks Like!
Friday 11th August 

A busy day so not much time to look too in depth. 

1:50 Wolverhampton - 

The three big guns in the betting and all held in high regard by their respective trainers. MokaatilCorinthia Knight & Moseeb have significant entries. Moseeb seems a touch temperamental and disappointed at Ripon last time. Mokaatil doesn't have to shoulder a win penalty which is a clear advantage. I can see a few punters fancying Corinthia Knight as a fair each-way bet if drifting a touch in the betting. A fascinating race. 

6:35 Newmarket - 

A big maiden. Plenty of horses with reputations. Wafy is worthy of note for Charlie Hills. 

My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe...

One of my favourite quotes is that even a broken watch is right twice a day. As a gambler I think most of us would like to have a better strike rate! Damn Watch.

Rambling...


Nothing changes, hey. I'm either quiet or you suffer from unending prose. The blog timeline details: spam, nothing, more spam, and My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe. [written 2013]


That latter topic sounds much more interesting. This adventure related to my laying horses to lose. That's two-year-old horses. I don't  understand anything else. Now, I'm not going to talk too much about my approach or the philosophy behind my laying tactics because it is a work in progress and rather boring in its written form. 

I must admit I don't find any form of gambling particularly pleasurable. My reasoning is that I have the odds in my favour. As every speculator will appreciate, that betting slip (in mind if not in hand) often morphs into a stick of dynamite.  The fuse burning too damn quick. Lay betting can feel rather daunting. When you've laid the rag and it's travelling with the zeal of a six-to-four jolly it makes the eyes bulge, the heart race, and your pocket has a kind of lost empty feel. Not very jovial. Well, that's the nature of the beast. Equine. You know, those things the commentator keeps talking about. 


So how did the season go?


Well, I was amazed. I know what you are thinking? Is that a good or bad amazing? I just took a double-take to see if my hand had been blown off. 


For the most part it was amazingly good - with a slight disaster at the finish.


I started small laying juveniles to win five pounds a time. That may seem a pittance but it can be a costly affair if a 20/1 shot has an exceptionally long neck. I'm pretty sure I laid a couple of giraffe this year.Last time I go to the bloody zoo and say what lovely creatures. I'm not against laying a good few horses in the same field. Races would come and go. I'd be winning ten, twenty, fifty pound a race. Everything was going well. Amazingly so. After winning several hundred pounds I considered it was time to lay each horse for twenty pounds. I knew it was a risk but time is money and all that. It made me a little nervous. The  bets ranged from laying favourites to huge outsiders. It can be slightly unnerving to lay a horse which could cost a couple of thousand. I always hope they fall out of the stalls and as fat as a pig. In that moment my potential terror of what could be turns to joy. Righteousness. Being right rather than religious. Obviously, there is good reason why I lay such horses. There is understanding, reason, professionalism. I'm not pinning the tail on the donkey - just trying to find it. However, that doesn't mean any horse cannot win. They do. The beasts. Those chestnut giraffe can be killers. 


To be fair I laid an incredible run of losers. In a matter of months I had turned my five pounds to four thousand. In a sizable field of maidens I would win up to two hundred a race. However, this approach doesn't allow you to just take any old race and wave my stick of dynamite. For starters, on many days there would be a limited number of two-year-old races. Certain race types were ignored.


I had a feeling of confidence.


For a moment I considered however fast that fuse burned if I filled my lungs with joyous - winning - air I could blow away that hellish spark.


On occasions I got my fingers burned. You have to remember that although I follow a professional approach there is something very different about working in practice to paper trailing. Thankfully I wasn't hit by a 100/1 shot. That would have been hard to swallow. But if you lay a bet you should never be surprised if it wins. It is probably sensible to imagine it will blow your socks off. I laid a couple of horses which won at 20/1. Not good. Although from my understanding I wasn't wrong in my approach. Horses win, horses lose, that's how it works. I must admit that in those early months of laying what must have been a hundred plus losers on the trot it all seemed ''amazingly'' straight forward. At the back of my mind (often at the front...and certainly in my pocket) I didn't believe it would last. I didn't expect it to follow a scenic path. I've watched  The Wizard of Oz. You have to meet a scarecrow, tin man, lion and a couple of flying monkeys before you get a chance to melt a green-faced witch and steal her bloody shoes. Although - thinking about it -hadn't she already lost them? 


I hit another couple of winners. A few bets cost a good few hundred. Financially it wasn't a problem but psychologically it was tougher. The next few lay bets made me really need them to lose. With a few winning days under my belt I shrugged off the loss and by a week or two I was back to an all-time high. 


However, little by little I hit a plateau. The four thousand pound mark became a wall. Each time I would climb the ladder to look over the other side I would be beaten to it by a giraffe who stuck out an incredibly long tongue. Sure the thing blew a raspberry before it came into view. I went from four thousand. Three thousand. Back to four thousand. Kicked in the nuts by wilder beast. It was a struggle. I didn't feel the approach was wrong. A few of the decisions come down to a photo finish. Prolonged agony. I realised that I needed a tweak here and there. Knock a few trainers on the head because they had done my brain in. That learning curve felt as though it was tying me up in knots. I'm sure that watch stopped when I wasn't looking.


The end of the two-year-old season was on the horizon and I was looking forward to a rest. One of the last bets was a killer blow. It didn't finish me off but it dampened my spirits which were already low. Of all days. I had been to the funeral of my aunt and switched on the races to see a Luca Cumani debutant which I laid for twenty pounds. The favourite struggled. In turn I had an uneasy feeling...which continued to cause concern. The beast travelled like a gazelle. I gave up trying to work out whether its neck was long or short. Its legs moved fast. It hit the front, cruising Kempton's final bend and lengthened clear into the straight. The loss I had expected materialised costing nearly eight hundred pounds. It wasn't the best of feelings. 


I'll be back next year with my tranquilizer dart.



Debating Betting Odds: What's the Shortest Price You'd Bet?

Betting. It's a subject that has fascinated the everyday gambler to the greatest philosophers. I wonder if many readers have heard of Pascal's Wager? 

Pascal's Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–62). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or that he does not. Pascal argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas they stand to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).

Pascal's Wager was based on the idea of the Christian God, though similar arguments have occurred in other religious traditions. The original wager was set out in section 233 of Pascal's posthumously published Pensées ("Thoughts"). These previously unpublished notes were assembled to form an incomplete treatise on Christian apologetics.

Historically, Pascal's Wager was groundbreaking because it charted new territory in probability theory, marked the first formal use of decision theory, and anticipated future philosophies such as existentialism, pragmatism and voluntarism.

Source: Wikipedia

I guess most of us who like a flutter aren't musing if we should back heaven or hell unless they are the names of two greyhounds in a race at Wimbledon. Perhaps we should! 

However, it is interesting to consider the logic of Pascal's wager because have you ever questioned the types of bets you choose? Making the right or wrong bet could well be the difference between winning and losing. 

You could be a budding philosopher.

I'm sure you have been chatting with a friend about a bet and they haven't so much questioned your selection(s) but the bet itself, especially the price. It is interesting because most gamblers are creatures of habit and often find it difficult to break or perhaps even notice they stick with a given bet which by its very nature dictates a certain mindset. Perhaps it isn't broken or in need of change.

There's one thing you can guarantee - everyone has an opinion. 

I have often placed an each-way treble and been criticised for having an even money shot perched somewhere in the three. Comments of ''Good luck with that...'' clearly showing an element of disdain or bemusement of thinking they or the royal we knows better. 

It's a tricky subject. Well, it might be. Perhaps it isn't an issue at all. Definitely ''No bet!'' It's definitely ''Bet!'' 

It's all about opinion. 

Who is to say what is a good or bad bet? I'm sure someone will be thinking, even myself included, that doesn't look a good bet. 

However, how do we measure any bet? By one criterion - long-term profits. If you have what many would consider the most ridiculous bet ever placed but you are in profit year on year. I'd say those laughing should, with wisdom, be laughing at themselves. Perhaps in ten years time, they will be laughing at you because you have been proven to be a loser.

If I placed a £50 each-treble on:

2:30 Romford: He's Lucky 4/1

4:50 Chester:  That's Too Short 1/1
6:00 Goodwood: Icing On The Cake 7/1

Who likes or dislikes the 1/1?  Without know the horse, form, tipster quality....which way the wind is blowing that day. I can guarantee a number of people will be citicising the even-money jolly. 

''Each-way even money? That must be wrong! 

One-fifth of the odds 0.2 for a place. 

Criminal!!!!!!

But what about the man who bet a place on Betfair at the same odds? What about the gambler who bets at 1.01 in-running?  

It's a matter of debate. Perhaps, when it wins, you'll say that's one hell of a god bet. 

At the end of the day if you are in long-term profit isn't that the true test of whether a bet is correct win or lose.

Feel free to comment. 

Ex-Gambler Turns Software Ace

Like all successful businessmen, Yuchun Lee is passionate about his experience of making money. The 42-year-old Taiwanese-American gushes about "big players", "advanced techniques" and "ace tracking".

None of these exotic terms relate to Unica, the software house based in Waltham, Massachusetts, that he founded in 1992.


Mr Lee is reminiscing about gambling tactics and his time with the Amphibians, a gang of top-grade students and graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Amphibians took on casinos and other gambling dens using a disciplined mathematical model of card-counting to lower the odds in their favour.


Today, their exploits form the backdrop for 21, the Hollywood movie starring Kevin Spacey and based on the book Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich.


The card-counting technique works only in blackjack, where the player bets against the casino, hoping to be dealt cards that add up to 21.

Covert activity


Mathematically-savvy MIT students, working to strict-allocated rules and acting in rehearsed roles, racked up impressive earnings during Mr Lee's era. Hand signals indicated to the team's designated high-roller when to bet heavily on a table.

These tactics were not illegal, but casinos made every effort to blacklist the team members. The thrill of outwitting casino security appealed to Mr Lee.


"It was like being a spy," he recalls.


The future technology industry executive got an early taste of hard cash when travelling with up to $250,000 of winnings strapped to his body. Mr Lee's card-counting streak ran from 1995 to 2000, before post-9/11 metal detectors could pick up the metal strip in a $100 bill.


The David v Goliath feeling is the same, plus the gusto, the team spirit we felt when we beat the casinos


Yuchun Lee on his software firm


"There were maybe three times a year we got caught with cash at an airport, but we were very organised, we had a lawyer ready to take our call," he says.

He was caught once, and relied on the pre-arranged lawyer to convince the authorities he was not transporting drug-dealing profits.


The sums of money involved were astonishing, even by the standards of the computer industry, where Mr Lee's company employs 500 staff with annual revenues of $100m.

At the opening weekend of a casino in Connecticut, Mr Lee and his team made a killing. Driving back to MIT in Boston, they gathered in a meeting room to pile up gambling chips worth $500,000, all made in just 48 hours.


Mr Lee fizzes with tales of his blackjack adventures. In fact, he is perfectly equipped to play his allocated role among spotters and card-counters wearing disguises to deflect observant casino security staff. Mr Lee played the Crazy Asian Gambler, whose job title within the Amphibians was the Big Player.

The Crazy Asian Gambler was an act that Mr Lee embraced with gusto, convincing the casino staff that here was a man who would abandon all logic in his pursuit of a winning hand.


Rogues' gallery


Team members who were identified were photographed and barred from the casino, which would then share their faces via its security firm with other operators. Mr Lee's five-year streak ended when he was barred from the giant Bellagio casino in Las Vegas.

By this time, he was already running Unica and came home to open his e-mail, where a purchase order for marketing software was awaiting him. The customer was the Bellagio casino.


Unica now has offices in eight countries


How does it compare with running a marketing software company? "There are some parallels. The David v Goliath feeling is the same, plus the gusto, the team spirit we felt when we beat the casinos."

Four of Unica's staff are ex-counters who have been blacklisted by the casinos. What kind of mind does it take to follow all of this fast card action?

Mr Lee produces a laminated card from his wallet. There are tiny numbers covering the credit-card sized item. These represent 10,000 hours of simulated blackjack rules. He maintains that by memorising this card it is possible to lower the odds in a player's favour.


"Anyone can do it."


Mr Lee still carries the card about with him, a tangible reminder of a time when, as a Big Player cherished by casinos, he was showered with extraordinary incentives to keep on gambling. "You would never have experiences such as these anywhere else. I was given a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon at sunset."


Changing roles


In the film 21, Laurence Fishburne plays a casino security chief fighting for his job, as face-recognition software threatens to render his generation of tough investigators extinct.


Now Mr Lee revels in the potential of sophisticated software. The program he sells helps his clients spot a potential future customer. But just as his card-counting alter ego, the Crazy Asian Gambler, relied on cold mathematical odds, this product works on precision.


He encourages his clients to use data generated by the program with care. "We don't want to spook people by appearing to know too much about them."


And like Laurence Fishburne's security man, Cole, Mr Lee has seen the world change.


Airport security is a serious impediment to shifting the sums needed to raise the stakes on a table and the winnings that can result from diligent team work. And the quicker the money is carried away from one city, the sooner it can be used to bet against a casino in another location.


If hundreds of thousands of dollars cannot be moved through airport scanners, then surely a rota of drivers could be organised to carry the cash to selected points? Mr Lee nods in agreement at this suggestion. He still seems like a man who is very familiar with the milieu of the Big Players.

The Art of Winner Finding

The Art of Winner Finding
Another great article from the Horseracing Pro. Foreword by Bob. Here's another of Spy's inimitable views. When you read it take some of his modesty with a pinch of salt! He actually does very well with his betting and racing has provided him with a living for some 20 years now! But I absolutely agree with his fundamental point. One man on his own just hasn't the time or the ability to go through all the racing, form lines, videos and sift views from a stable of contacts in 24 hours.

You need help. Help from experts. Expert form advice, expert race readers, and expert contacts.


To do well in this business you would be well advised to do one of three things. Either

•Build a team


◦ ... of form experts, race experts and contacts whose opinion you trust implicitly. This does NOT mean you will always be right no matter how good the team is. Apart from the normal good luck/bad luck in racing from time to time team members will fall for "put-aways" and be put away by connections, just like anyone else. It's part of the game. But a good team will identify more fancied horses and spot more "moody" put away plays than most do.


◦This is the most satisfying as you will enjoy the camaraderie of your team (albeit mostly by telephone as generally they are widespread geographically and incredibly hardworking because they love racing and they love the challenge of solving the racing puzzle)


◦ It will also be very expensive because your overheads will be enormous and the only income is generated by betting. The more successful you're betting the harder it will be to get bets on (in your own name) It's a wonderful "Catch 22" and yet we all love the buzz of this business so much we are hooked for life!


•Bet for a Professional Gambler


◦ ... Find a Professional Punter or group of Professional Gamblers and bet alongside them. You wouldn't ask a road sweeper to perform brain surgery so surely it's smart to take advice from someone who already has proven he can win and not someone who just claims he can.


◦The best way is to place bets on them but you will need an enormous float if you do and you must be VERY sure you are dealing with a Genuine Professional Punter who really can't get bets on or you could be ripped off - too many con artists use this sort of story as a scam. To handle a Professional's business you will probably need to be able to guarantee getting bets of £1,000-£5,000 on at a time, secure prices and be on call 24/7 as well as the ability to move large sums of money in seconds. If you've ever bet live horses you will know how hard that can be! I have many clients who have already had their accounts limted for betting "live" horses in hundreds let alone thousands!



◦PS If you can get £1,000's on, can secure the odds and will guarantee to pay me when I win then please email me right away!


•Work with a Genuine Professional Gambler


◦ ... and share the burden of expenses or getting money on. This is the method I offer as it makes it possible for a part time Trader to enjoy access to genuine information without a huge financial committement.

I OFTEN START my pieces with anecdotes and see no reason to break that precedent today. The story that precedes this offering concerns a boxer faced with the doctor during a bout at Madison Square Garden. It had been a bad night thus far for the pugilist, who was slumped in the corner between rounds whilst his seconds frantically worked on his cut face. As was his job, having witnessed a punishing round, the doctor needed to establish the battered fighter was Compos Mentis. Correct with the number of fingers held before him: next the question if the fighter knew where he was. ‘Sure I know where I am,’ he replied, spitting blood as he spoke, ‘I am in Madison Square getting the shit kicked out of me!’


Told he could continue for the next round, the boxer then had to listen to all the advice from his corner. ‘If you’re so god-damned clever, you get in there and finish it off for me!’ he replied before the clang of the bell.

Boxing is a tough game – it is a tough as they come. It requires a team of experts to groom the boxer to give his best in the ring. And the paradox is that, as with sportsmen of all types and performers in general, those dispensing said advice are theorists as opposed to operators. That is to say - they tell those that can do what they cannot - how to do it! That is the job of a coach and is no reflection on either party.


The same applies to horseracing and betting where there is no shortage of advice proffered to would-be professional punters. Not all the theory in the universe will make you into something you are not. If you are not cut out to be a professional punter, it is important you cotton on to such a fact sooner rather than a few grand later.

We have looked at some of the finer points of punting for a living but one of the most important components in this business is your make-up or personality. For the purposes of the point I wish to make, I will take myself as the role model for this article. I will analyse my qualities and lack of – warts and all.


First, my strong points: I am pretty good at dissected races and quick to jump on a betting opportunity, which often means I can identify a race that presents a distinct advantage. This is where you doubt the credentials of a leading player for whatever reason and feel it is ripe to be opposed. Often I find that, for all the time one can invest, the true good thing jumps out of the paper even before you have waded through the business of deciding whether the formbook suggests it can win. This is something of a contradiction to many of the other scraps of formulae I have passed on. I keep hammering several points home; one of them being there is no actual blueprint for this business. Like the bout of boxing, such a movable feast requires constant adjustment so those who succeed have to think on their feet.


Therefore, technically I know what I am doing. Now to the part that cannot be quantified – the ability to transfer theory into practice. In the case of being a professional punter that is the bit that involves actual betting – the decision as to whether to bet or not and how much to stake. Here, we are talking my weakness. Most successful punters I know have at least one grey area. They identify it and use others to plug up the gap or gaps. Surprisingly, most successful punters know little about actual form, less about horses. But they are good at betting. They are the equivalent of the city traders who can be fearless. Their sixth sense does not come in evaluation of cards and races but in knowing when to lay down their cash.

People who are good at winner-spotting would also make good detectives as there is a fair degree of sifting of facts required. They achieve much of the work on instinct and intuition.


Successful backers take all the advice on offer, have a knack of deciphering the difference between a message or opinion that reflects hope as opposed to confidence, and act accordingly. And when they bet, they bet. They pull up serious money and make it count.

One of my biggest weaknesses is timidity. I have to admit I am not a fearless punter. I keep my head above the roaring ocean waves without going under but am never on the prow of the ship. And I like to make my mind up on the day’s proceedings in advance, hating to be at the whim of messages that may trickle through during course of a day, particularly in races in which I have no view. I do my work either the day or night before, finish it in the morning and that is it as far as I am concerned! This is a failing but one I cannot address. I am not intolerably opinionated, but I dislike putting myself in the hands of others. I will always listen, in some cases bet solely on messages – some of which are top class – but I dislike striking a bet that has not been properly thought out – at least by me. That is my approach and it means I miss backing plenty of winners. Subconsciously, I feel I have done the work on the day and that there should be no need for further reference to the formbook. Instantly unfathomable messages are largely ignored. I repeat – this is a failing.


My best course of action would be to employ someone to listen to what I say, to my evaluation of races and then who, in a dispassionate manner, places the wagers. There would surely be no shortage of applicants for such a position; but I am equally sure such a relationship would not work. The reason is I like to maintain control and am reluctant to delegate when it comes to money. Therefore, as a result, my business suffers, as it would be far more effective if I worked in tandem with someone else.


However, importantly, I know and recognise this weakness and work round it. Personally, I will never be a Bob Rothman, Harry Findlay, or a Patrick Veitch. That is not solely because they are richer than I am, but that they have the temperament to take enormous risks when the time is right. They will increase stakes when winning, whereas I tend to protect profit and throttle back, playing it safe. That means I jog along, not getting into too much trouble but not roaring round London in a Ferrari either.

If you are tempted to try this business, then it is important you give yourself a reality check. Even if you fail to become a big-hitter in the ring, it should prove beneficial. Eventually, betting on anything – be it cards, roulette, horses or football – will expose your weaknesses from which there is no hiding place. Kid yourself you are right when all around can see you are not and you will pay the price. Punting does not allow a margin for error. But consistency can make up for deficiencies. I am not advocating being consistently wrong, but so long your actions are consistent, to a degree you can work round your shortcomings.

Being a professional punter is akin to being a professional in anything. You are effectively in the same position as writers, actors and sportsmen. There is no one paying your National Insurance stamp, no one shelling out sick and holiday pay, no guarantee that you will be insured by the trappings those conventionally employed enjoy.


As I said at the beginning, some are better doing the fighting others saying how it should be done. So long as the mixture is correct, it can work. The problem comes when the fighters are doing the directing and the corner men the fighting!

The Lost Art of Tic-Tac

Tic-Tac sign language is a lost art amongst bookmakers in the UK. Very few bookies still use the signals previously popular on racing courses across the United Kingdom.

The signals varied by region but all communicated odds. Some are shouted verbally as well in cockney rhyming slang.

For many punters now involved in horse race betting they are unlikely to encounter Tic-Tac but it can be a fun way to communicate with friends and colleagues while at the races.


What Happened to Eoghan O'Neill?

You may remember reading this headline: Shock split as Fretwell withdraws horses from O'Neill yard. But what happened to the once winning partnership and what did the future hold for this talented trainer? 

EXCLUSIVE by COLIN MACKENZIE




Last updated at 20:44 17 March 2008



Midlands businessman John Fretwell, whose lime green colours have been so successful in recent seasons, has shocked trainer Eoghan O'Neill by severing their partnership and removing many of his horses.


O'Neill answered an advertisement for training for Fretwell four years ago and moved from Newmarket to his purpose-built stables at Averham Park just outside Newark, Nottinghamshire after impressing his new boss in an interview.


There were 72 applicants.


The ambitious Irishman delivered the goods with Fretwell's bargain-basement youngsters, many of whom were sold on at a profit at the end of their two-year-old careers.


The horses have now been split between his other existing trainer Ed McMahon, as well as new trainers Kevin Ryan, Peter Chapple- Hyam and Jeremy Noseda.


Chapple-Hyam is believed to be receiving four-year-old Medicine Path, who had a poor season last year but was runner-up to Admiralofthefleet in the Royal Lodge and third to authorised in the Racing Post Trophy the previous season.


O'Neill, 38, married with three children and a former assistant to John Gosden and Sir Mark Prescott, was contacted yesterday, but said: "I don't want to talk about it."



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He has delivered wins in the Group Two Champagne Stakes (Silent Times) and Richmond Stakes (Always Hopeful) for his principal patron, who was unavailable for comment.

O'Neill moved to Averham Park in August 2004 and since the start of 2005 had trained 96 winners.


He has had eight winners from 23 runners so far this year including four from four runs with Rapidity (not owned by Fretwell) who made all to register wins at each of the four all-weather tracks from February 3-15, a record.


Fretwell and his son Paul are frequent buyers at Doncaster Sales where they have been more than adept in spotting yearling talent.


Fretwell, 59, sold his cash-and-carry business, where he employed 600 people, four years ago and is one of the few owners in racing claiming to make a profit out of his hobby





Eoghan O'Neill
 About Eoghan O'Neill

Eoghan has held a trainers licence since 2000 in the UK and more recently in France since 2010.



During his short career as a trainer, O’Neill has sent out the winners of over 200 races, however his forte appears to be his brilliance at placing horses at black type level ensuring, for their owners, maximum value for future sales and for breeding.


O'Neill has trained the winners of the Champagne Stakes Gr 2, Firth of Clyde Gr 2, Weld Stakes Gr 3 and countless other Listed and Group races. He was denied by inches of Classic glory in 2007 in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket when Vital Equine was beaten into second place, however his quest for glory in the Newmarket classic still remains his biggest ambition after coming so desperately close.


O'Neill lives at EMLASA farm with is wife Melissa and four children, Luke, Alice, Sophie and Annabel.



O'Neill’s path to EMLASA has been a long one, having been raised on a farm in Ireland, O’Neill spent Summer holidays working with Robert Collet in Chantilly.Following O'Neill’s graduation from university where he obtained a degree in Economics and Psychology and a post-graduate degree in Business Studies from the Smurfit International School of Business at University College, Dublin he took a position as assistant trainer with Sir Mark Prescott BT at Newmarket and enjoyed three wonderful years being associated with such horses as Wizard King, Hasten To Add, Pivotal and Last Second.


Following his time with Sir Mark Prescott he joined John Gosden as an assistant trainer for a further three years, where he was associated with such horses as Benny The Dip, Shantou and Ryafan. Following his experiences with such great professionals, O’Neill then felt in 2000 that it was the time for him to branch out on his own.



Where is Eoghan O'Neill now?




EMLASA Farm, France
 Set in the depths of the Orne Valley in South Normandy, France lies EMLASA Farm; a purpose built equestrian property for the training of thoroughbred racehorses.


The farm has a 300-year history of successful breeding until it was recently purchased by its current owners Eoghan and Melissa O’Neill and their young family.


EMLASA offers a tranquil environment with 120 acres of lush grass paddocks and also second to none gallop facilities. EMLASA has two training tracks, one of natural sand and the other of SOFTRACK. The most recent innovation in gallop surfaces created by the SOFTRACK team led by Robert Brazil and Hugh Daly.


SOFTRACK is probably the best synthetic riding surface in the world and with its superb composition it gives Eoghan O’Neill an edge in terms of the soundness of his horses and increases the longevity of their racing careers.


The SOFTRACK gallop at EMLASA is 1200 metres on a gentle, sweeping incline.


This gives all horses, but in particular two-year-olds, the opportunity to experience racing conditions at home prior to racing.The sand gallop at EMLASA Farm which is 1400 metres in an oval is ideal for horses where long distance racing is their forte.


EMLASA Farm consists of a 60 box complex in two American style barns with also some loose boxes in the main yard. Each barn is equipped with horse showers, so horses can properly avail of being washed down after exercise. Plans are currently afoot and an equine swimming pool will be installed in the coming months.


There are also advanced plans for the construction of an indoor canter. This will further enhance the service Eoghan O’Neill can provide together with the current facilities described above which also include 2 horse walkers.


Why France?

 
We are currently in the early part of our racing season here in France which will be our first full season, having only moved from the UK last July. Apart from the fabulous facilities that EMLASA provides France is the world leader in terms of prize money which horses can earn by racing here, in fact it is 56% better than the UK for example.


France also has a lucrative premium system for French bred horses which provide 75% premium on top of any prize money won by a French bred two year old, 63% for a French bred three-year-old and 48% for a French bred four year old and older.


France actually gives racehorse owners a chance to enjoy their racing without it being a continuous drain on an owners resources. For many racehorse owners, France provides a nice racing environment and an opportunity of making it pay.



O'Neill Loving French Connection



May 7th, 2010


Eoghan O'Neill could make a rapid return to the big stage if his well-crafted plans work out.


British racegoers have seen a lot less of the 39-year-old since he bought a yard for the majority of his horses in France during the spring and he managed to slip under the punting radar with a 20-1 success in last Saturday's Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar.


O'Neill has never been a trainer prepared to stick to conventional boundaries and was sending out runners - and winners - all over Europe during the earlier parts of his career from bases in Newmarket and then Nottinghamshire and it is no surprise that Redcar star Lucky Like could be off travelling too.


"We'll definitely run him again," said O'Neill.


"He might go for the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte (November 3) or there is also the option of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.


"I've always thought he was nice but Franny Norton got off him on Saturday and described him as a proper horse. He won very easily so we're excited about him."


Lucky Like is not the only horse in the yard with important targets. O'Neill plans to get Kieren Fallon to ride Maroon Machine in the Dewhurst and of others, he revealed:


"Times Vital is a definite runner in the Cesarewitch and Franny will ride him too. Philander is also a definite runner in the Racing Post Trophy." A former protege of Sir Mark Prescott and John Gosden, O'Neill's ambition impressed wealthy owner John Fretwell enough to invite him to train at his establishment in Averham Park near Newark in 2004.


In a four-year partnership, they shared notable victories in races like the Champagne and the Richmond Stakes.


O'Neill still has a link with Nottinghamshire and sets himself a pretty busy schedule.


"I have two bases. My satellite yard is a 120-acre farm with two Polytrack on it. We bought that in March and the easiest way to describe where it lies is to say it's 100 miles west of Paris. It's isolated, but that's the way I like it.


"I have another base at Southwell so I commute between the two. I might spend four days in France, then two in England.


"Some horses like England, some France, but the main thing we have over here (France) is the prize money, even for run-of-the-mill stuff.


O'Neill's international outlook is causing him few problems in settling in.

He explains: "I have worked in France for many years so it's not a place that is new to me. It's just nice to get back used to it again.


"I did my apprenticeship with Robert Collet, and I've had runners in Germany, Italy, England and Ireland, so I have had the experience, and a lot of people do want to send horses to me.


"Perhaps it just seems a very fresh, new idea, and people have caught on to it. Some like the idea of having a horse trained over here and they notice someone new has made the break."


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BROOX WINS DECISIVELY AT CHANTILLY


June 28th, 2010


Broox an €18,000 purchase by Eoghan O’Neill at the October Arqana Sale at Deauville ran out a hugely impressive winner of a class B conditions race at Chantilly on Tuesday 22nd June stamping himself as one of the leading 2-year-olds seen out this year in France. Olivier Peslier never had a moment's worry and without moving a muscle he was a comfortable 4 length winner. After the race Eoghan O’Neill commented “He’s the best 2-year-old colt I have and probably the best I’ve had since Vital Equine, he’s a very straightforward horse and enjoys his work, his relaxed nature is a big help to him and both the facilities at Emlasa Farm and my staff have done a marvellous job with him. The intention is to run in the Prix Robert Papin on 25th July at Maisons-Laffitte and we’re looking forward to his next assignment.”


Since Broox has won at Group level with over £100,000 prize money.

To see his full race record (click)

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Caunton Beck sold to continue racing career in Switzerland


June 11th, 2010


Caunton Beck has been sold to new Swiss owners in a deal completed by Guy Petit Bloodstock. It is understood that the new owners have purchased Caunton Beck to run in the Swiss Derby on 20th June 2010.


Commenting on the sale, Eoghan O’Neill said “Caunton Beck is a progressive 3-year-old stayer, with a great constitution and an invaluable toughness, he has been a great money spinner for the owners having cost €16,000, winning €66,000 and selling him for a substantial figure. We wish his new owners and trainer the very best of luck with him.”


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Broox next outing announced


June 11th, 2010


Trainer Eoghan O’Neill announced today that Broox, the highly impressive winner at Chantilly on 21st May 2010 (Prix du Berceau) will return to the same course for his next outing on 22nd June 2010.


O’Neill commented “Broox came back from his win at Chantilly in great form, it is my intention to take little steps with him and he will run in a conditions race at Chantilly on 22nd June. If this race proves successful we will look at stepping him up to black-type company.”


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O’Neill Loving French Connection


May 25th, 2010


Eoghan O’Neill could make a rapid return to the big stage if his well-crafted plans work out.


British racegoers have seen a lot less of the 39-year-old since he bought a yard for the majority of his horses in France during the spring and he managed to slip under the punting radar with a 20-1 success in last Saturday’s Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar.


O’Neill has never been a trainer prepared to stick to conventional boundaries and was sending out runners – and winners – all over Europe during the earlier parts of his career from bases in Newmarket and then Nottinghamshire and it is no surprise that Redcar star Lucky Like could be off travelling too.


“We’ll definitely run him again,” said O’Neill.


“He might go for the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte (November 3) or there is also the option of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.


“I’ve always thought he was nice but Franny Norton got off him on Saturday and described him as a proper horse. He won very easily so we’re excited about him.”


Lucky Like is not the only horse in the yard with important targets. O’Neill plans to get Kieren Fallon to ride Maroon Machine in the Dewhurst.


O’Neill’s international outlook is causing him few problems in settling in. He explains: “I have worked in France for many years so it’s not a place that is new to me. It’s just nice to get back used to it again.


“I did my apprenticeship with Robert Collet, and I’ve had runners in Germany, Italy, England and Ireland, so I have had the experience, and a lot of people do want to send horses to me.


“Perhaps it just seems a very fresh, new idea, and people have caught on to it. Some like the idea of having a horse trained over here and they notice someone new has made the break.”


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O’Neill enjoys lucky strike


May 22nd, 2010


Lucky Like stretched right away from his rivals to run out a hugely impressive winner of the totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar.


Eoghan O’Neill’s juvenile was sent off at 20-1 having had four of his previous five outings in France but his jockey Francis Norton appeared confident throughout.


Once given the office, Lucky Like quickly put distance between himself and his rivals and he was fully four lengths ahead of Kaptain Kirkup passing the post.


There will be a 15p in the pound Rule 4 deduction for winning punters as leading fancy Pastoral Player was withdrawn at the start.


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Welcome to the brand new EJ O’Neill Website (click)


April 22nd, 2010


We have just uploaded and unveiled our brand new website where you can find out all about our latest news, developments and learn all about EMLASA Farm and why we operate currently in France.


Find out more about ‘About Eoghan O’Neill’ »



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See his latest result (click) 


Please e-mail us on info@ejoneillracing.com


2015 June - 


Congratulations to connections and their Royal Ascot Chesham Stakes Listed winner, Suits You, ridden by Cristian Demoro. See the result here