Jonjo ONeill as a Racehorse Trainer

Jonjo O’Neill – as a Racehorse Trainer

Jonjo oneill training
Jonjo Oneill leading two racehorses

Jonjo O’Neill is one of racing’s outstanding National Hunt trainers.

Since moving to Jackdaws Castle in the summer of 2001, he has racked up a century or more on seven occasions.

Currently in his 17th season at this state-of-the-art complex, Jonjo has joined an elite band of trainers with 2,000 winners, among them 26 Cheltenham Festival successes and, famously in April 2010, the Grand National at Aintree with Don’t Push It and 2012 the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Synchronised.

Jackdaws Castle

Jonjo O’Neill – as a Racehorse Trainer

Situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, Jackdaws Castle is owned by legendary Irish-based jumping enthusiast, JP McManus, who purchased then expanded the complex prior to Jonjo’s arrival. Jonjo rents the estate from JP and is anything but a private trainer. All owners are welcome at Jackdaws, where the team already plays host to the many various types of ownership allowed by racing’s governing body, the BHA – from corporate to syndicates and partnerships. The magnificent facilities at Jackdaws are far removed from the small farm in Penrith where Jonjo began training after retiring as a jockey in 1986.

Jonjo’s Winners

Almost as soon as he started his new career, Jonjo was diagnosed with cancer. So, that he sent out only three winners in a troubled first year was irrelevant – at the end of it he was still alive!

Jonjo trained three Cheltenham Festival winners whilst based in Penrith. However, since taking over at Jackdaws success at jumping’s showcase meeting has been prolific. All told, his Cheltenham Festival tally now stands at 26, among them Iris’s Gift ( Stayers’ Hurdle), Spectroscope (JCB Triumph Hurdle), Black Jack Ketchum (Brit Insurance Spa Novices’ Hurdle) and the dual Festival winners Albertas Run (Royal & SunAlliance and Ryanair Chases) and Wichita Lineman (Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle and William Hill Trophy), Synchronised (Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup) Holywell (Pertemps Final and Bayliss & Harding Chase), Taquin Du Seuil, More Of That (Ladbrokes World Hurdle) and Minella Rocco (National Hunt Chase) who finshed second in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Don't Push It - 2010 Grand National Winner
Grand national winner, Don't Push It

Although Jonjo is best known for training top-class jumpers, he’s always happy to have horses in training on the Flat too. Indeed, he has now saddled two Royal Ascot winners, courtesy of Gipsy Fiddler, who won the Windsor Castle Stakes under Pat Eddery in1990 and Well Sharp in the Ascot Stakes under Fran Berry in 2013. In the very same month, Tominator won Europe’s most valuable Handicap, the Northumberland Plate under Graham Lee.

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