Thursday, 12 December 2019

US Racing Bets – Top Tips

US horse racing tips
With races coming thick and fast this season, punters know they have unlimited chances to place winning bets. At different venues across the US, some of the nation’s top horses compete for honours. Just because you cannot be physically present at the horseracing venues, doesn't mean you cannot partake in the thrill of picking the winning horses. Below we share the daily picks of US races based on stats and current form so that you can place your bets confidently without having to watch how the horses perform at a land-based venue.

Louisiana Downs

At the Louisiana Downs, there will be seven races throughout the day. The first race features a couple of horses that dropped in grade that are also tipped as the favourites. One of these horses is Chick Lips who finished in a respectable eighth position. Going into this race, Chick Lips is the preferred choice, but he faces stiff competition from RootnandToon. The second race is a bit of a rivalry between Fast Dashing Candy and Karoles Patriot. The winner of the race is expected to be between these two, but Fast Dashing Candy has a bit of an advantage as he won his last race at Evangeline in November.

With a string of near misses during the whole of 2017, Pool Party Girl will want to start 2018 on a high by winning this race. It will be a tough task however as she has to finish in front of Reachingforthemoon. Reachningforthemoon herself had an indifferent 2017, but has the added advantage of experience. The other highlight event is race 5 with two favourites, FH Tochin and Hez Our Valentine. FH Tochin won her maiden over the C&D, though Hez Our Valentine drops into the race from an upper-grade race where he managed to compete.

Mahoning Valley

The first race at Mahoning Valley features a horse that was widely expected to dominate the headlines at the start of 2017, El Gordo Navas. However he failed to do so as a result of a number of injuries that limited his experiences. El Gordo Navas will face competition from Battle Crossing and Three Pillars for pole position. In race 4, Don’tbothermenow who struggled at this venue a few weeks back will be seeking a change in fortunes. Odds are in favour of Dontbothermenow more so as his main competitor, Magic Apple, who lost dismally.

In race 6 is an emerging horse causing waves in US racing known as Cindor Bolt. Cindor Bolt’s previous race is a testament to his ability and performance where he went on to win without any effort. Cindor Bolt’s is the clear favourite to win, while Game of Dreams and Enta the Circle are predicted to be close contenders.

Turf Paradise

The first race at Turf Paradise features two horses that dropped a grade, and they are both favourites to finish in the ‘Place’ positions. This will be the third race in a row for Miss N Wildcat in this race group and as such is expected to be more accustomed to the surroundings and the turf. Another fellow dropper is West Princess who will race for the first time in the race group. Miss N Wildcat is probably the best nap of this race based on experience on the turf, but a surprise from a fellow dropper, West Princess cannot be ruled out.


Race 5 is another highlight race to look out for with two favourites having contrasting fortunes. Son of a Royal is simply unbeatable while Trevor’s Call, on the other hand, is not exactly a world-beater but has shown consistency over the past year finishing among the top three places in all of his races. Based on consistency, Trevor’s Call may just be the top pick for this race.  

Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Opportunities of a Professional Gambler: Eddy Murray

Professional gambler stories One year as a Professional Gambler 2004-2005

This is a post from Eddy Murray:

This was my original post on the Betfair forum about my first year as a professional gambler.  This article led Inside Edge magazine to get in touch with me, and my work for both Inside Edge magazine and The Sportsman newspaper stemmed from it.

The first week of March last year I left work to go full time, and one year on, I'd like to put this thread up as perhaps some people may find it helpful.


Being a gambler is not something I ever expected to become. The advent of the internet, and the exchanges, have changed my life (for now) dramatically. I still can't quite believe its been just twelve months, but I for one have a lot to thank Andrew Black and Ed Wray for.

The twelve months started fairly badly after nearly being killed in a car crash in Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote. That was a bit of a disappointment. However, on return to the UK, I had two or three very successful months, until suddenly I was hit by a double whammy. I had originally been winning on three different types of market, and suddenly overnight became a big loser on two of them. At the same time I had been guilty of expanding my own lifestyle and expectations (in a very human, but perhaps unwise way), and had also spent a third of my bank buying (music) recording studio equipment – the one thing which I'd always dreamed of having.

Losing half of my remaining bank in the space of a fortnight last June left me in deep trouble, and it looked like I was in danger of having made a massive mistake. There was one point where I had one final bet (not a huge one though) where I promised myself if it lost to stop and never bet ever again. It did end up winning. I asked Gamcare for advice, who were very helpful. When gambling messes up your sleeping, as well as your waking hours, it is a crushing realisation that you are in a mess.

There are no evening classes, A-levels, or MBAs in gambling. There are a small band of hardcore professional gamblers, nearly all of them at least partially on Betfair, who are literally some of the sharpest minds there are. Any amounts on any market above £100 are likely to be bets placed up there by one of them. They are equally as talented at gambling as a top barrister or doctor would be at their trade. Nobody walks into a courtroom and decides to be a top lawyer for the day, nor operate in theatre at the local hospital. The difference with betting is that everyone can (and most do) have a bet. What can be much simpler than having £10 on Manchester United to win a football match?

Last June (only three months after leaving work), I was in fairly heavy trouble. I had a certain level of my bank which I had set as a level I would try to never go below. When it reached that level, it looked like taking the gamble on becoming a gambler was one I was on the brink of losing.

At that point, the advice I received from another gambler changed everything. I was in contact with a number of people, mainly originally through Betfair's forum, but one of them I hold my hat off to, and have an enormous gratitude to, and respect for (you know who you are guv'nor). I managed to cross over and adapt my skills across a wide range of markets/sports, so that I had degrees of success in new areas. A key part of remaining a pro is the ability to adapt to a constantly changing market. You literally have to run to stand still to be successful in as fiercely competitive an environment as Betfair.

Winning money through betting is paradoxically something I feel very uncomfortable with morally. Are there people on the other side of these bets who are risking more than they can afford to lose? All the money originally deposited into Betfair has at some stage been earned in an office, a factory, a checkout, forecourt or salon. Much of it has real blood sweat and tears behind it. It makes me incredibly sad to read the figures from the big 3 that they have around 200,000 customers a year losing an average of £3,000 a year into FOBT's, as reported on a number of threads on the General Betting forum. One of my ex-girlfriends had only come to England with her mother many years ago, after her father's gambling addiction took their family to financial and emotional ruin, and her parents separated. There are real human beings out there who become just further statistics to fall by the wayside in the current pro-gambling British culture.

There's always the hope that if you do win, it's off a rich city trader, who is punting silly money for fun. Betfair has a very small number of seriously big winners (of which I am not one), but very few if any big losers. It has a vast legion of small losers. A football match can be more fun with a bet having been placed on it. The people who gamble for entertainment (whether they win or lose), as an enjoyable hobby to complement an already balanced life are perhaps the real winners. Given to this group of its customers, it is the better value and accessibility to a product they enjoy, that is perhaps Betfair's greatest success.

For every 100 winners in a calendar year, many of them will fall by the wayside the following year. One of the most famous posts on this forum has been 'The Story of Ster', who went from being a big winner to someone whose methods became horribly outmoded, and he found himself deceiving his family about his gambling problems. According to his last post he found happiness and support from his loved ones. For every passage of time, past present and future, there will be a number who are crushed through indiscipline/addiction/chasing/recklessness and/or greed.

A year full time feels like a lifetime. Gambling is neither a hobby nor a job, it is a lifestyle. One thread on here has had a user called TETO setting a target of £50 a day, whilst another has a user called 'Doubled' seeking to make £25,000 a year. Everyone starts gambling with £1's and £2's, and if they are good, that progresses to fivers, tenners, fifties, and then hundreds. There are people who bet tens of thousands of pounds per football match, horse or rugby team on Betfair, without blinking an eyelid. If you have two gamblers, one of them 5% better than the other, one could realistically make £20,000 a year from it, the second one could make £70,000. The difference between earning £26,000 a year in the workplace, and £32,000 a year could be four or five years' hard graft and promotion. A small difference in gambling skill can make an astronomical difference to the bottom line here though. The real shrewdies who use Betfair make about 10% profit on turnover, with a fairly astonishing turnover level by any layman's standards.

There is no security in the future of any gambler, bar their own ability to stash away whatever they can for a rainy day. I am 26, and I know that when I do go back into the workplace (something I hope to do) it will be at the bottom rung again. Each year spent as a full timer doesn't knock off a year of your real career at the bottom end of the ladder, it knocks off one of the best years at the end of it. It is quite a heavy burden for me, when most of my peers are doing well and forging ahead as consultants/analysts/bankers/lawyers/accountants/actuaries. Only hindsight will let me know if I did actually make the right decision at this stage in my life.

I'd like to put forward my own opinions of the kind of people who I think would make successful pro gamblers. Every school boy wants to be captain of the football team, or seeing the prettiest girl in the school. I was neither, just a quiet studious swot who probably annoyed people by continually beating everyone in the exams, as well as probably other various nerdy and equally nefarious activities. Pets don't win prizes, geeks do. If you can remember the class genius/nerd, I don't think you're cut out to be a winner on Betfair. If you were the nerd, you have a chance. As I said before, nobody expects to turn up and be a brilliant doctor or lawyer, but everybody likes to have a punt, and most are happy to bet until they've done their cobblers.

I've personally written two specific programs/models which have proved invaluable on certain markets. One has half a million variables. The other I'm incredibly proud of, and wouldn't sell for 30k. Winning at gambling is extraordinarily hard to do consistently, and it takes an armoury of graft, skill and discipline to succeed. The technical skill and wizardry behind some of the API programming is itself several steps up from a relatively small fish like me.

Nobody is ever a real winner from gambling until the day they cash in their chips, and leave the casino. There are gamblers throughout history who have won millions, and lost it all back. If somebody asked me if it can be done, could I truthfully say 'yes'? I'm not sure that I could. I could easily be one of the hundred pros who whilst being successful for the last year, may fall by the wayside over the next. There is no tragedy in that – all that a man can ask for in life is the freedom to live by the sword, and you can only do that if it's possible to die by the sword if you fail.

Starting out as a full timer is not something I would recommend to almost any other person (out of a sense of moral responsibility, not attempted protection of an imaginary part of some imaginary pot of gold). It has been the most astonishing learning curve, and in my first few months I experienced both sustained exhilaration and sustained depression. Gambling success is a fickle mistress, with incredible runs of both victories and defeats entwined illogically by fate. Value is all-important – not winners. That's the first lesson to any gambler, and one which the majority don't ever start to comprehend. The secret is not getting more heads than tails, its winning more when a coin comes up heads than you lose when it's tails.

To be a real pro, gambling ends up becoming almost like a form of accountancy, with a good staking plan, and calculation of value as and when it arises. I no longer have any thrill whatsoever from winning or losing a bet.

It has been an amazing twelve months, and I am very fortunate to have been successful for now. I'm sorry if some of this thread comes across as arrogant – it's all genuine from this side. Some people reading this will be thinking about going pro, and I'm sure other people will be reading too. If you do go pro, then try to remember how much of a rollercoaster emotionally it can be especially at first. Have a level of your bank which you will not go below, and promise yourself you won't go below it. Then make sure you keep that promise. If I've learnt anything its how unimportant money is, and how precious the people around you are.

I hope some of this helps other people. There'll be another geek out there like me who is at the stage I was at a year ago. I hope everyone finds fulfilment and happiness, which is much more than gambling in itself will ever have to offer.

Eddy Murray , Spring 2005

http://www.eddymurray.com/

Thursday, 21 November 2019

In Search of the Outsider: The Significance of Trainers & Starting Price

From what we have learned so far, it becomes apparent that  finding an outsider with a lively chance of winning on debut needs a certain calibre of a trainer. The problem with following the elite is that their juveniles are very much in the spotlight. As we have mentioned, their reputation precedes them to a point where many are under priced.

Few trainers, however capable, feature a level stakes profit with their debutantes. In fact, most would make truly poor bets from a blanket approach. Even looking at the individual rather than the general? To a certain extent, this would be a pointless exercise. Why? Because it is a remote chance these two-year-old could win at speculative odds. It would simply dictate they have a slim chance of winning. For example, from just over 450 debutantes, how many two-year-old winners did Mick Channon train priced over 8/1? It was in single figures. Fair enough, a large number of his juveniles were fancied in the betting. But would that inspire you to wager? I wouldn’t be interested. It is surprising how difficult it is to win on debut – at any price. And don’t forget how many win against a field of debutantes. The statistics would no doubt plummet when racing against experienced horses primed to run for their lives.

What we are searching for is this: not the biggest stables and certainly not the smallest who rarely train a two-year-old let alone a juvenile winner. What we need is that trainer who has plenty of ammunition but somehow slips under the radar. There are a number of interesting candidates.

One of the best candidates is Michael Dods. In my opinion, he is a talented trainer of two-year-old, especially on debut. He has excellent statistics with his debutantes, which, strangely, seem to have more chance of winning at speculative odds than when strongly fancied. However, the icing on the cake for his debutantes is when running on the soft or heavy ground. I’m not sure if he goes for the type of horse with hooves the size of dinner plates but they often love testing conditions. If you see one of his juveniles priced 40/1, 50/1 or even 66/1 on debut, racing in the terrible ground they make outstanding each way bets.

Now, I’m not saying all of them are going to win. Who would imagine they could! This article is simply to highlight which trainers can go well at speculative odds in the knowledge that you have a fighting chance.

My brother bets on many horses just because he likes their physical stature. In fact, he goes to the extreme of not really caring who trains them. He's had so many big priced winners it is quite astonishing. What I want to highlight from his success is that gigantic-priced horses fall into a niche area to prove victorious. It is all about looking in the right direction. That is the reason why some gamblers win and others lose. They have the skills to know that rich seam of gold is within reach while others are searching unforgiving grounds. 

Make sure you read Part 3 (coming soon)

Thursday, 14 November 2019

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, 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. 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.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Five Horses to Watch This National Hunt Season

Excitement is mounting among fans of jumps racing as we enter the early stages of the 2019/20 National Hunt season. Old heroes will return for another crack at glory in some of the biggest races in the calendar, from the Cheltenham Gold Cup to the Grand National at Aintree. New titans of the National Hunt scene will also emerge, and fans will be treated to a great deal of excitement, intrigue and drama along the way. Here are five horses to look out for over the course of the season:

Altior

Nicky Henderson’s superstar nine-year-old remains unbeaten throughout his magnificent jumps racing career. He announced himself as a force to be reckoned with when he surged to victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2016. He then won the Arkle in 2017 and he has triumphed in the Queen Mother Champion Chase – the leading minimum-distance chase in the National Hunt calendar – for the past two years, becoming the punters’ darling in the process. 

Now Henderson has decided to take Altior in an interesting new direction. “After plenty of input from everyone, we have decided that we are going to go down the King George route,” Henderson announced. “Therefore the obvious race to start in is the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot on 23 November.” 

That will put Altior on a collision course with Cyrname, who became the highest rated chaser in Britain when he secured a couple of seriously impressive victories at Ascot early in 2019. Cyrname and Altior were due to lock horns at Sandown earlier this year, but Cyrname’s connections decided to skip it due to quick ground. By November, Ascot should be ripe for a thrilling battle between these two brilliant chasers, and Altior’s backers insist he will make a mockery of his official rating of being 1lb weaker than Cyrname. 

For those who get in early, Altior is the favourite to win the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. He is priced at 5/2, while Cyrname is 5/1 and 2018 winner Clan Des Obeaux is 11/2. It remains to be seen which race Henderson will send Altior to at Cheltenham, and much will depend on his performances in the Christy 1965 Chase and the King George.

Lostintranslation 

Colin Tizzard’s seven-year-old began 2019 with an eye-catching win in the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. He followed it up with a strong performance to finish second to Defi Du Seuil in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown. He was then second to the same horse in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but he relished the step up in trip for the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase over 3m 210y at Aintree in April. 

He finished comfortably clear of 10/11 favourite Topofthegame to clinch victory. That marked him out as a potential Gold Cup winner, and he is among the ante post favourites to land the biggest race of the season. Tizzard has indicated that Lostintranslation will return to action in an intermediate race at Carlisle, before working up to the big races taking place this season. “For the next few seasons, we hope he will be running in top races every time,” said Tizzard. “He was a big block of a horse when he came to us. But when we first ran him at Chepstow he very nearly won, and the good ones often take you by surprise.” 

If he resumes his fine form, Lostintranslation will go to Haydock, then the King George and have one more run before the Gold Cup. “Everything points to him getting the Gold Cup trip,” added Tizzard. Another horse from his stable, Native River, won the Gold Cup in 2018 and finished fourth last year, so he knows a thing or two about saddling a contender in the most prestigious race of the year. 

Tiger Roll 

Tiger Roll will bid to become the first horse to win the Grand National three times in a row at Aintree in 2020. His owner, the Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, famously referred to him as “a little rat of thing” and never expected him to cope with the rigours of the most intense steeplechase of them all. Yet Tiger Roll, the smallest horse in the field, soared to victory in 2018 and then delighted many punters by defending his crown earlier this year. That made him the first horse since Red Rum to win the famous race twice in a row. 

Red Rum won it a third time in 1977 and he remains the leading horse in Grand National History. Tiger Roll will now aim to move level with that legend. He has also won the Glenfarclass Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham for the past two years, and it will be fascinating to see how he gets on this time around. Elliott will certainly be careful with his little superstar. 

“We are going to have to mind him now and pick and choose where we go,” said the trainer. “He will probably have one run over hurdles, maybe something like the Boyne Hurdle [at Navan in February] again. He will go back to Cheltenham for the Cross Country race and then we’ll go for the Randox Health Grand National.” 

Chacun Pour Soi 

The exciting Chacun Pour Soi won by 31 lengths on his debut at Naas in March and that inspired Willie Mullins to catapult him up to Grade 1. The task facing him was formidable as he lined up alongside recent Cheltenham festival winners Defi Du Seuil and Duc Des Genievres for the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown. 

A few early errors did not help his cause, but Chacun Pour Soi contested the lead three out and then surged to the front of the field. He was pressed by Defi Du Seuil going into the last, but he held on for a strong four-length victory. 

There are now high hopes for Chacun Pour Soi this season. Mullins always has a large collection of superstars, and the likes of Klassical Dream, Al Boum Photo, Camelia De Cotte and Duc Des Genievres will be keenly followed this season, but Chacun Pour Soi looks like a really special talent. He is already the second favourite behind Altior for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, and he should have great things ahead of him. 

Topofthegame 

Paul Nicholls’ imposing stayer has gone from strength to strength in recent years and he romped to victory in the Grade 1 RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March. The field was extremely strong for a race that is frequently dubbed “the novice’s Gold Cup”, but Topofthegame saw off competition from big names like Santini, Delta Work and The World’s End to clinch a famous win. He followed it up with another strong performance when second behind Lostintranslation in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree the following month. 

Topofthegame has proven quality at Grade 1 level, and he should continue on an upward curve this season. The huge son of Flemensfirth is a magnificent looking racehorse and he should have the power to thrive at Cheltenham again in 2020. Nicholls believes he has all the right qualities to become a leading Gold Cup contender. “He strikes me as an ideal Gold Cup horse,” said the Ditcheat trainer. “We’ll train him with that race in mind. He travels beautifully, jumps and stays, and those are the qualities you need.”

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

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."


Latest News


HomeLatest NewsContactLeading race horse trainers based in France


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