Eoghan O’Neill began his training career in the UK in 2000 in the world-class training centre of Newmarket. From the outset he planned to campaign horses internationally to maximise opportunities to win at the highest level. This policy yielded instant results with the victory of YORBA LINDA in a Listed race at Dusseldorf, Germany in July, 2000. In 2001 Eoghan won his first Group 3 race when his 2 year old filly RED RIOJA won the CL Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh in Ireland. Over the past 12 years Eoghan has clocked up numerous Group and Listed successes with horses such as MARANILLA (twice Gr.3 winner), SILENT TIMES (Gr.2 winner), ALWAYS HOPEFUL (Gr.2 winner, twice Gr.1 placed), MEDICINE PATH (twice Listed winner, Gr.2 placed), PRINCESS IRIS (Gr.3 winner), NAN’S JOY (Listed winner), LUCKY LIKE (Listed winner), Picket (Gr.3 placed), Ellmau (Gr.2 placed), White Jade (Gr.2 placed), Campbeltown (Listed placed), Creative Mind (Gr.3 placed), Marachi Band (Listed placed), Dame Hester (Listed placed). Many of these winners defied ordinary breeding to win at the highest level in Eoghan’s care.
One of Eoghan’s greatest strengths as a trainer has been his ability to select future stars at yearling sales for reasonable prices and in 2005 he selected a colt for £24,000 that was named VITAL EQUINE. Eoghan trained VITIAL EQUINE to win the Champagne Stakes, Gr.2 at 2 years and at 3 years he finished 2nd to Cockney Rebel in the 2000 Guineas, Newmarket in a course record time beating Dutch Art into 3rd. Vital Equine retired to stud the winner of £179,000 and is now a successful sire. Vital Equine was an excellent example of Eoghan’s consistent ability to exceed expectations of pedigree and purchase price, thus taking the ownership experience to a much a higher level of fun, excitement and reward.
In the autumn of 2008 Eoghan and his wife Melissa made the decision to move their family of four children (aged 18 to 13 years) and their business to France to avail of the huge opportunities French racing presented. In 2009 they bought a 120-acre farm in South Normandy and developed the facilities needed to continue their successful training business. Prior to their move and conscious of the excellent premiums on offer to French bred horses, Eoghan focused on buying French-bred yearlings and this policy reaped immediate results with the purchase of Maroon Machine that won €138,000 in prize money and premiums. He followed this up with the purchase of BROOX for just €18,000 as a yearling and subsequent earnings of over €220,000 (included a Gr.3 win & Gr.1 placed). Other Group and Listed performers since his move to France have included GREEN DANDY, Stormy Howard,Ruby’s Day, War Is War and She’s My Dandy.
Since 2009 Eoghan has won over €2,897,000 (as of December 31st, 2012) in prize money and premiums. He has been hugely successful placing horses of all ages in races at all levels of ability to maximise earnings potential. Horses such as Best of Order (€110,950 rated 40kg in France, UK equivalent 88), Moscow Eight (€114,000), War Is War (€103,000 Gr.2, Gr.3 & Listed placed), Vital Spirit (€85,000), Cornucopia (€89,500), Mon Desir (€80,900), Stormy Howard (€90,000, Listed placed). In May 2012 the 4 year old filly, Come On Mate won her first race for Eoghan with a rating of just 25kg (UK equivalent 55). Come On Mate is now the winner of 3 races and €22,000 with a rating of 28.5kg (UK equivalent 62).
Eoghan O’Neill grew up in the heart of the Irish bloodstock industry in Co. Kildare. His family home at Knocklong House Stud has been the source of Group performers such as Dyhim Diamond, Dakhla Oasis, Santaney and Three Greens. He studied Economics, French and Psychology at Maynooth University followed by a Post Graduate Degree in business studies from the renowned Smurfit International School of Business at University College Dublin. Eoghan’s racing education began during his teenage years when he spent summer holidays from University working for leading French trainer, Robert Collet in the training centre of Chantilly. On completing his studies Eoghan spent 2 years as Assistant Trainer to Sir Mark Prescott BT in Newmarket, during the racing careers of Pivotal, Last Second and Red Camellia. He was then appointed Assistant Trainer at the 180-horse yard of leading UK trainer, John Gosden. He spent three years in this role during the racing careers of such horses as Derby winner, Benny The Dip, Shantou and Rayafan.