Thursday, 23 February 2023

Who Owns The Rank Group?

The Rank Group is a UK-based gaming company that owns and operates a range of casinos, bingo halls, and online gaming sites. The company was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in Maidenhead, England.

The Rank Group's ownership structure is publicly traded, with shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. The largest shareholder in the company is Guoco Group Limited, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate that owns a 56% stake in Rank.

Guoco Group Limited is itself owned by Malaysian businessman Quek Leng Chan and his family. Quek Leng Chan is one of the wealthiest people in Malaysia, with a net worth of over $9 billion according to Forbes.

While Guoco Group is the largest shareholder in Rank, the company is also owned by a number of institutional investors, including asset management firms and pension funds. These investors hold significant stakes in the company and play an important role in shaping the direction of the business.

Despite being publicly traded, The Rank Group has a strong focus on responsible gambling and has implemented a range of measures to ensure that its customers are able to gamble safely and responsibly. These measures include self-exclusion options, where customers can choose to exclude themselves from the casino for a period of time, as well as trained staff who are able to identify and assist customers who may be experiencing problem gambling.

The Grosvenor Casino

Grosvenor Casino is a well-known chain of casinos in the United Kingdom, with a rich history dating back over 50 years. The brand is owned and operated by The Rank Group, a gaming company that was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in Maidenhead, England.

The first Grosvenor Casino opened in 1970 in Nottingham, and the brand has since grown to include 55 casinos throughout the UK. The casinos offer a range of gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and poker, as well as dining and entertainment experiences.

The ownership of Grosvenor Casino has been stable for many years, with The Rank Group holding the majority stake in the company. However, in 2020, The Rank Group announced that it was in talks with 888 Holdings, another gaming company, regarding a potential merger.

The proposed merger would have created a new company with a combined value of over £3 billion and would have brought together two of the largest gaming companies in the UK. However, the talks ultimately broke down, and the merger did not go ahead.

Despite the potential merger, The Rank Group remains the owner and operator of Grosvenor Casino. The company has a strong focus on responsible gambling and has implemented a range of measures to ensure that its customers are able to gamble safely and responsibly.

These measures include self-exclusion options, where customers can choose to exclude themselves from the casino for a period of time, as well as trained staff who are able to identify and assist customers who may be experiencing problem gambling.

In addition to its focus on responsible gambling, The Rank Group is committed to sustainability and has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce its environmental impact. These include reducing waste and energy use, as well as promoting sustainable procurement practices throughout the company.

The Rank Group is also involved in a range of philanthropic initiatives, including supporting local communities and charities throughout the UK. In 2020, the company donated £1 million to support food banks and other local charities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, Grosvenor Casino is a well-established brand in the UK gaming industry, with a strong focus on responsible gambling, sustainability, and philanthropy. While the proposed merger with 888 Holdings did not go ahead, The Rank Group remains committed to growing and developing the Grosvenor Casino brand and providing a safe and enjoyable gaming experience for its customers.

Photo: Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth (Copyright Jason Coote) 

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

How To Win At Roulette 101

Roulette is a classic casino game that has been enjoyed by millions of people for generations. The objective of the game is simple: to correctly predict where the ball will land on the spinning wheel. Although the game is based largely on luck, there are a few strategies and tips that can help you increase your chances of winning.

The first step to winning at roulette is to understand the odds. The American version of roulette has 38 numbers on the wheel, including 0 and 00, while the European version has 37 numbers, with just a single 0. Knowing the odds can help you make informed betting decisions and reduce your risk of losing.

One popular strategy for increasing your chances of winning is called the Martingale system. This strategy involves doubling your bet after every loss, in an attempt to recoup your losses and eventually come out ahead. While this strategy can be effective in the short term, it also has a high risk of resulting in a significant loss if you have a streak of bad luck.

Another strategy that is often used by experienced players is the Reverse Martingale system, also known as the Paroli system. This strategy involves increasing your bet after each win, rather than after each loss. The idea is to take advantage of a winning streak and maximize your winnings while minimizing your risk of losing.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when playing roulette is to set a budget and stick to it. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game and end up betting more than you can afford to lose. By setting a budget and sticking to it, you can ensure that you stay in control and minimize your risk of losing big.

Another important tip for winning at roulette is to avoid making single-number bets. These bets have the lowest odds of winning and the highest payouts, which makes them a risky option. Instead, consider making outside bets, such as betting on a range of numbers or on odd or even numbers. These bets have a higher probability of winning, and the payouts are generally lower, but the potential winnings can still be significant. Finally, it's important to choose a reputable casino that offers fair games and transparent rules. Look for casinos that are licensed and regulated by a reputable authority, and make sure to read the terms and conditions before you start playing. This will help you avoid any surprises and ensure that you are playing a fair game.

In conclusion, roulette is a fun and exciting game that can offer the chance to win big. While the game is largely based on luck, there are a few strategies and tips that can help you increase your chances of success. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, it's important to understand the odds, set a budget, and choose a reputable casino. By following these tips and being mindful of your bets, you can maximize your chances of winning at roulette and have a great time while doing so.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Friday, 10 February 2023

Professional Gambler & Bookmaker: Freddie Williams

It's November 2005. The location: Cheltenham racecourse. It's about an hour before the first race - the opening day of the Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting. 

Under a grey sky, with steadily dropping temperatures, the crowd gathers. In the betting circle bookies are pitching. 

Barry Dennis shouts prices back and forth. Gregory and John Hughes watch the crowd. Andy Smith and John Christie await the first bets of the day. Mickey 'The Asparagus Kid' Fletcher, his face like a 'Wanted' poster, scowls from the sidelines. But Scotsman Freddie Williams, a famed drama actor, hasn't yet arrived.

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Miniature in stature he may be, he's known as the biggest bookmaker at Prestbury Park.

Freddie delays his entrance, sitting comfortably in his Jaguar a hundred yards away in the members' car park. His daughter Julie, and other members of his on-course team are already in place on the pitch. I bet he was never tempted by pokies online or any other slots for that matter. Freddie, the softly spoken boss, confers with them by phone, always monitoring the early activity and estimating the moves of the day. 
At the Cheltenham Festival in March 1999, JP McManus - a feared pro gambler of racing legend - has a colossal £100,000 each way at 7/1 on his own horse in the Pertempts Hurdle Final. This wasn't some transaction by chance. It was a very deliberate, planned, almost hand-to-hand combat in the heat and gun-smoke of the Festival. Shannon Gale, trained by Christy Roche, finished fourth and JP collected £175,000 from the each-way part of his wager. If he had finished first, Freddie Williams would have had a payout in the ballpark of the £900,000. To clearly understand what makes him such an accomplished man we need to take a look at his whole life. What makes his story so interesting is not just his enthusiastic embrace of customary betting and his detest for the cautious, corporate approach of the big betting-shop chains but also credit that this is a man came from a modest beginning and earned the right to be a player on the greatest racing stage of them all.

Freddie was born in 1942 in Cumnock, East Ayrshire. His father was a miner, like his father before him. Freddie, like the rest of his male relations and colleagues, would have gone down the pit himself had he not failed the medical exam at the age of 15. Instead he became a mining engineer. He wasn't interested in betting for fun although many a punter has been tempted to visit gambling360 online casino to see what all the fuss is about. Unlike the Williams family I really should have considered the probability of winning and losing. 
After a few years Freddie went to work for a soft drink company. Everyone knew bet in those days, and the backbone of gambling in the mining communities was 'pitch and toss'. Horse racing, especially jump racing, was exerting a far greater allure.

I was lucky to earn a pound a week at the time. I kept my money in a tin box. There were illegal betting offices all around Ayrshire and I put every dime I could on Pas Seul. He made it to the last stretch but then he fell.' Williams laughs sorrowfully at the memory. 'Kerstin stayed on to win the race.

Pas Seul made no mistake the next year, though.' Freddie's was not alone in his love of a punt.In fact it was shared by his workmates at Currys.

He bought his first bookmaking pitch at Ayr in 1974, followed by one in Hamilton and one in Musselburgh. He would go on to own seven betting offices. After Currys was bought out again in 1991, Freddie, already worth over a million, started his own bottled-water business called Caledonian Clear.

Some of competitors like to say that it must be very nice to try bookmaking when you have another job paying your bills.However, Freddie emphatically denies racing job is some sort of sideline. 'Bookmaking is my livelihood and my passion in life.' Freddie has said.

The enthusiasm and nerve Freddie brings to his job is something the Southerners had not witnessed for themselves until the massively overdue reforms that allowed racecourse pitches to be bought and sold at public auction in the late 1990s. The old-fashioned system of Dead Man's Shoes, the bookmaking pitches were restricted to successive generations of the same family, was a sort of Masonic protection swindle that shut out new money and new faces from the ring.

The Scotsman got an early start on 1st January 1999 and again in March. It didn't take McManus to seek him out. As well as conflicting Shannon Gale, the bookmaker also accepted Nick Dundee. Dundee was the Irish banker of the week. The young novice ran in the colours of McManus' close friends John and Sue Magnier. But Freddie didn't fancy Nick Dundee. 'I was going 11/8, One gentleman wanted £80,000 on, and I laid it to him, but I didn't take down the price. He looked at me for a moment then asked for the bet again. So I laid him another £110,000 to £80,000, but I still not taking down the price.'

It was a close-run race. Then it happened Nick Dundee's legs buckled landing over the third last fence. Plus, presumably, the sound of one Scottish heart beating faster. Freddie was not always so lucky.

Although the bookie and punter seem to be natural enemies, they also tend to respect each other alot. 'We're friends,' says Williams sincerely. 'John was in business as a bookmaker for 15 years. He had a good bet on Dawn Run when she won the Gold Cup in 1986 and that helped him to change his life. However, he told me that if she'd lost, he'd have been skint the following week.'

Freddie admits, 'Festival trading is totally draining, which is why I stay in a nice, quiet hotel. When you get back, all you want to do is eat and sleep. I'm afraid I'm well behind in the entertainment stakes.'

There was plenty of entertainment on November '04, though: The Rising Moon, running in the McManus colours, was the medium of a £100,000 plunge at 3/1. Half an hour later, JP's Spot The Difference won the Sporting Index cross-country chase. Someone stuck on £28,000 at 7/1 for a payout of nearly two hundred grand.


Frederick Sidney Williams, soft-drink manufacturer and bookmaker: born Cumnock, Ayrshire 28 October 1942; married Sheila Edwards (two daughters; marriage dissolved 2006); died Cumnock 21 June 2008


Freddie Williams: Bookmaker of amazing boldness by Tony Smurthwaite, The Independent 

Freddie Williams was the buccaneering bookmaker who left onlookers amazed by an incredible boldness that, at the end of one remarkable day at the races, had cost him £1m. He attained celebrity status as the immovable object that met the irresistible force of J.P. McManus, the singularly audacious punter whose huge wagers during the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival each March are one of horse-racing's constants.

Their personal conflict might have bankrupted lesser players, yet relations were always cordial amid McManus's six-figure investments. Such Corinthian spirit, made easier by each man's wealth, captivated many who followed the betting moves at the leading racing and greyhound meetings, and made Williams a hugely popular and high-profile bookmaker.

Williams's most bruising encounter with McManus came on a day he would never forget, as it was to end in terror. It began at the Cheltenham Festival on 16 March 2006. McManus had struck a £100,000 bet to win £600,000 on Reveillez, who won, then followed up with £5,000 each way on Kadoun, another of his horses, at 50-1. When Kadoun won, in the last race of the day, Williams owed McManus more than £1m. As if that were that not bad enough, on driving away from the course in his Jaguar with his daughter Julie and her boyfriend, Andrew, Williams was ambushed by an armed gang. Though the three escaped physically unscathed, the ordeal shook them badly. The assailants were said to have made off with £70,000.

It had long been Williams's ambition to be a bookmaker at Cheltenham. Born in the coal-mining heartland of Cumnock, South Ayrshire, he developed an aptitude for laying odds at a young age, watching the miners playing endless games of pitch and toss. "There was nothing to do then but work and gamble," recalled Williams, whose grandfather and father had both gone down the pit. Freddie's first role model was his great-grandfather. When a pit accident robbed him of an arm, cut off in an accident, he recovered to set up in business as a coal merchant.

Freddie was bedridden as a child and missed out on pit life after failing a medical as a result of polio. He swept floors in the local Curries of Auchinleck lemonade factory, and acted as a bookie's runner before graduating to lay his own odds in a small way at Auchinleck greyhound track.

Though his schooling was interrupted and his education compromised, Freddie Williams had an aptitude that allowed him to rise to manager at the lemonade plant. A buy-out among staff increased his involvement, and later he took over the business. In 1991 he sold his stake and four years later opened the alcopop manufacturer Caledonian Bottlers, which boasted a state-of-the-art factory employing 50 full-time staff, and used natural Scottish spring water.

Williams maintained, however, that bookmaking, not bottling, was his livelihood. He had established a bookmaker's pitch at Ayr racecourse in 1974, where he became known as a daredevil, and then put his name down for a coveted spot at Cheltenham. But the "dead man's shoes" system of bookmaker pitch transfer was a source of great frustration, and Williams languished on the waiting list for 20 years. In one interview, he said: "I started off at 120 on the list and by the 1990s I was at number 40. It was never going to happen, but then the rules changed and you could buy a pitch. I was the first to buy one. I thought, 'Here I am! I'm not just here for a day out – I'm taking on the biggest hitters in the game.' "

So it was that on 1 January 1999, Williams arrived for Cheltenham's traditional New Year's Day meeting. McManus tested his nerve immediately, placing £90,000 on the Queen Mother's runner Buckside. The 2-1 favourite led at the last fence, but faded into second place. Seven weeks earlier, Williams had undergone a quadruple heart bypass.

He never looked back. In March 1999 he took on McManus and other big hitters over the three days of the National Hunt Festival. He clearly loved the cut and thrust, never flinching no matter how high the stakes. "Fearless" Freddie was soon in his pomp, making appearances on Channel 4 racing where he shared his love of the betting ring, and the game of wits, bravado and instinct he waged with customers, who ranged from heavy hitters to £2 punters at Glasgow's Shawfield greyhound track.

Shannon Gale marked the start of battle royal with McManus. Williams accepted a bet of £100,000 each way on the 7-1 chance. Honours were shared when the horse ran fourth, ensuring an each-way payout of £175,000 rather than the £875,000 had it won.

Williams enjoyed studying his clients as much as the horses, seeking give-away signs of confidence or uncertainty. He stood at other racecourses and at greyhound tracks, and owned a string of racehorses. In 2004 he bought the 78 St Vincent Street restaurant in Glasgow, installing his daughter Julie as manager, it was said to stop her following him into the betting game. When his marriage broke down in 2006, it was reported that a £1m divorce settlement had been agreed.

Williams worked until he dropped, suffering a heart attack after a day spent working at Ayr races and an evening working at Shawfield. His philosophy was summed up in the view that the final race each day did not mean an end to the winning or the losing. "There is no last race," he would often say.

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? 


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. I can imagine after this news anyone would need some timeout and play pokies online real money australia. Thankfully, you don't need to be down under to do just that and have some fun. Who knows you may even get as lucky as a winner. 

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. I remember these days and all the trainers mentioned. I wasn't just interested in the best casino games it was about learning how to understand horse racing and make my betting pay. Even now, some thirty years on, it has been a struggle to work it out but I have learned lots and followed my passion. 

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."

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

 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?

 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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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)


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.


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’ »


See his latest result (click) 

Please e-mail us on

2015 June - 

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

Becoming a Professional Gambler

I found this article on
Slipperytoad website, originally published by Punt.Com blog, and it makes fascinating if not a little pessimistic reading.

Forums, blogs, bookies and betting websites are full of people dreaming of becoming professional gamblers. Being your own boss, working when you feel like it, playing online pokies australia, with the hope making loads of money and watching sports for a living is certainly appealing to most people. Let this post (and the rest of this blog) be a reality check.

I see a lot of people giving up jobs to do this after a short time trading. They think it’s easy and straight forward, they think it will last forever… They haven’t thought it through.

I’ve been a professional gambler now for over 3 1/2 years. Before that, I gambled for 2 years before I took the decision to do it. It was the biggest decision of my life, certainly not one I took lightly. Giving up a guaranteed income and job prospects to gamble with my own money was extremely risky, to say the least.

When you give up your job, you’re not only going to be risking your money gambling but your entire future job prospects. Let me tell you, gamblers are not viewed in the same way as someone who works in a normal job. For example, what would you think about pokies online real money australia online blackjack. Compare the reaction you get when you tell someone you are a gambler to when you tell them you work in a bank. Even if you compare it to being a “day trader”, the reaction is a mixture of contempt, fascination and disbelief.

Most people will flatly not believe you. Gamblers are the vagrants of society. The losers that hang around bookies, wasting their family income on an addiction. No one believes it is possible to win, and if you have – it’s just luck. Like it or not, this is how you will be viewed. Some will feel sorry for you, others will not give you the time of day. You are going to be one of society’s outsiders.

Family relationships can be strained and tested. It takes a lot of understanding from family and friends and this can weigh on your mind whilst you are gambling. Stable family life is important, it spills over into your work – few jobs are affected as much by this. You need stability and space to work well. And vice versa, a bad day at the office should not affect the way you treat those closest to you, can you really say that you won’t be in a terrible mood when you lose £xxxxx on some tennis player that gave up?

Your financial future is now uncertain. You are no longer contributing to society, you are not paying tax – an advantage to the gambler sure, but it doesn’t improve your self-esteem and further enhances the feeling of being an outsider.

Try to borrow money from the bank? It’s easier said than done. This is why you need to try to secure your future financially as far in advance as you can before you make it your sole income

What about future job prospects? If you need to work again, do you really think future employers are going to be happy with you spending a year or two gambling for a living when they read your cv?

How much have you won before you turn pro? It’s hardly ever enough. You need to make many times your current income before you do it. Make sure you have savings that are stashed away, preferably making you a reasonable amount of interest. I might have turned professional a year before I did, but I had to make sure I was safe financially before I did so. Not only for my livelihood but so that I could work confidently and without pressure. You cannot perform in this game if you are too worried about losing your hard earned cash. Pressure on your profit and loss is deadly.

What about when you do take the plunge, your day to day life is going to change dramatically in ways you may not have imagined. Interaction with other people becomes scarce. You will be spending long periods of time alone, clicking away staring at a screen all day. The temptation to live up to the stereotype is obvious. Why bother making an effort when you can get up, do some work and go back to bed again.. Discipline. Working alone throws up serious challenges. Your health and fitness can suffer drastically. The way you interact with other people can take a tumble. Prepare for this in advance.

It’s not all excitement and glamour. It can be downright boring doing the same things day in day out. Boredom for some gamblers can be their most dangerous adversary. You can end up working on things you don’t need to be. Betting too much and over trading for the sake of it.

Gambling certainly doesn’t owe you a living. A normal job pays you for turning up, no one’s going to do that here – they are going to try to take money off you for turning up. It’s you against a world of other people, all of whom have opinions, some of them most definitely better informed than you. Just how professional are you when it comes to the crunch, are you certain you are at the top of the tree? How consistent is your performance going to be to combat everyone else and stay ahead of the game. There are some brilliant brains out there trying to beat you at every turn – be wise to the available strategies and the people you are up against and give them respect – it’s your money and therefore livelihood they are after.

There are very few real professional gamblers, the reasons above outline why. It’s incredibly tough to do. You are going to be tested mentally every day and you will need to guard against developing bad psychological habits. There are reasons why gambling can cause problems for most people. There is a fine line between problem gambling, pathological gambling and professional gambling. Many professionals develop problems, be aware of the risks. Here’s a site about different types of gamblers. It suggests there are fewer than 50 gamblers in the US that make over $100,000 a year. With all the negative problems you can face as a professional gambler, you better make sure you are being compensated. Ask yourself what a fair amount is for enduring these problems if you aren’t already making that then is it really worthwhile.

Think about your life situation and your family life. You are risking your money and theirs. I was fortunate when I began that I was young, single and in a job that didn’t pay that much and I was able to spend as much time as I liked pursuing it, without overheads and relationship damaging consequences. It’s extraordinary time consuming, to begin with, especially as you are going to have to work hard to increase from little to a sum of money suitable to work from. Don’t underestimate the time this takes, and the time you will be spending away from family chasing something that might not even work out.

I know this post is quite pessimistic. I think it’s supposed to be. I’ve heard it said before that professional gamblers are pessimists, I’m not sure I agree completely, but in this post, I certainly think it’s a good idea to be. No matter how much you think you are ready, wait a while longer. Wait until you are sure you aren’t just lucky, then wait some more… Know why you aren’t plain lucky, and be big enough to admit defeat if you have been.

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution but given 

Professional Tipsters: Are They Flogging a Dead Horse?

Back in the good, old days I used to give free tips for two-year-old horse racing. 

It was on this blog. 

I kind of enjoyed the experience at the time and had a few good people take an interest. 

It might sound big headed, but I have an exceptional knowledge of two-year-old horse racing. In fact, I consider myself the best in the country. Not to say that means I'm not interested in online cash casinos for a bit of timeout from the serious gambling and sit down with a cup of tea and put my feet up for half an hour. 

I don't say those words lightly, it's just a fact.

Although I don't have anything to prove and really couldn't give a thought if you think differently. 

It matters not.

I've never been someone who is interested in other gambler's talents. I'd rather rather visit this page and see how the other half live. There are plenty of good judges, unsung heroes, out there who just get on with doing their thing. They don't need the spotlight to shine down on them. These so-called horse racing ''influencers''. 

That's a joke term if I ever heard one. Most are better at marketing than betting with knowledge or success. 

I've seen a number of ''big shots'' on YouTube who I can guarantee make the majority of their money via advertising, affiliates or selling courses or training. 

Good luck to them. It may sound like I'm being critical but that's far from the truth. All work hard to make their success. 

I just wonder if they really know what they are lining themselves up for. 

All that glitters isn't gold. 

It really doesn't matter to me whether someone else is successful, amazing or hopeless because my focus is on myself. I don't mean that in a selfish way as I am always here to be supportive, encouraging and do my best for others. But for each of us to succeed we need to focus on how we can improve our game. 

It's a personal battle rather than looking at those around you as competition or being fearful. 

Like the person who supports someone on Twitter and they can't even return a follow. I'm not being funny, but to me that's a definition of someone with a problem. 


Many professional tipsters supplement their income by related work. In fact, a number of well-known professional gamblers have seemingly ditched the slog against the turf accountant to join forces or be a pundit. 

Each to their own, although I do, slightly, consider they have sold their soul for a bundle of cash. 

It's easily done.  

We all need to make a living and I would probably jump at the chance of spouting a lot of cliches on Racing TV. 

No one can know everything, hey. And if you dilute the orange squash that little too much it doesn't leave the best taste in your mouth. 

It makes me smile as my brother said he wants to show everyone how good a gambler he is and smash those bookies along the way. He is a very good gambler and has smashed the bookies along the way. 

He isn't famous. 

The last thing I want or need is recognition of any type. In fact, I don't want it or need it. 

Listening to a recent video about one of the Twitter horse racing tipsters (I won't say his name, although I'm not saying anything negative about him) he said something about recognition...

I thought: ''Who gives a toss!''

The only person who needs someone to approve them or give them a slap on the back is someone who isn't at their journey's end. If they were, they would realise the last thing they need is any form of credit, applause, appreciation or a medal pinned on their arse. 

It's an illusion that it matters. It will make no difference to your life and perhaps make it worse. 

My Dad said: ''If I knew something worth knowing I wouldn't tell a soul and keep it to himself and have a smile on his face.''

At the time I was probably in my late teens or early twenties and I thought it was a silly comment. I needed recognition from others. It's only later in life I realised he was correct. There is very little anyone can say which really makes much difference when it comes to tipping horses. 

It is a futile endeavour. 

My online friend, Eric Arnold, who sadly passed away far too young said the same thing. 

The idea of someone giving a tip for a horse the evening before the race is, in truth, a ridiculous idea. It's like a laboratory experiment trying to control variables when there is no control. To be a successful gambler it's about knowledge, circumstance and timing. That's what makes a good bet.

If you don't understand what that means then I'm not going to explain it. 

Giving tips is bordering on pointless. 

If that's your way of making money I would have to question how it makes much sense. Surely if you are a successful tipster you should be making money without selling tips.

It's like a definition of an unsuccessful gambler. 

I guess it's a state of transition, which is a fair excuse if you need one. 

It's a strange one. I may give an odd tip or two because I am generous. Usually if someone is going to the races and they know sod all. 

If someone says they are a professional tipster and it's not a costly service, I would say: ''What's that all about!''

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution.

Sunday, 5 February 2023

What Happened to Race Horse Shergar?

Shergar was a thoroughbred racehorse that won the 1981 Epsom Derby, one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Shergar was considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time and was widely popular with horse racing fans. However, Shergar's career was cut short when he was abducted from a stud farm in Ireland, and his fate remains a mystery to this day. In this essay, we will examine the story of Shergar and what happened to the beloved racehorse. Unlike those who visit mobile casinos australia there was much speculation. It was a time of much uncertainty and racing fans held their breath all would be well.    

Shergar was bred in Ireland by the Aga Khan and was sold as a yearling for a then-record price of £10 million. He was trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who is considered one of the greatest trainers in the history of horse racing. Shergar made his racing debut in 1980 and quickly established himself as one of the best horses of his generation. He won several races, including the 2000 Guineas, click here, and was considered the favorite for the 1981 Epsom Derby, which to this day is the greatest winning margin of any horse to win this prestigious race.

Shergar lived up to his billing and produced an outstanding performance to win the 1981 Epsom Derby by a record margin of ten lengths. He was the first horse to win the race by such a large margin, and he was widely regarded as one of the greatest horses of all time. Shergar was due to run in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes later that year, but he was never to run again.

On February 8, 1983, Shergar was abducted from a stud farm in Ireland, where he was standing at stud. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of £2 million, but it is not clear if the ransom was paid. Shergar was never seen again, and his fate remains a mystery to this day.

There have been several theories about what happened to Shergar, but none have been proven conclusively. Some believe that he was killed by the kidnappers, while others believe that he was sold to a foreign country. There have also been reports of sightings of Shergar, but none have been confirmed.

The disappearance of Shergar had a significant impact on the horse racing industry, and it remains one of the biggest mysteries in the sport. The case was widely covered by the media, and it led to increased security measures at stud farms and racing stables around the world. The incident also highlighted the high value of thoroughbred horses, and it raised awareness of the risks associated with the breeding and racing of horses.

In conclusion, Shergar was a thoroughbred racehorse that won the 1981 Epsom Derby and was considered one of the greatest horses of all time. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Shergar's career was cut short when he was abducted from a stud farm in Ireland, and his fate remains a mystery to this day. The disappearance of Shergar had a significant impact on the horse racing industry, and it remains one of the biggest mysteries in the sport.