Bio: As a National Hunt jockey, John Joseph “Jonjo” O’Neill is probably still best remembered for his association with Dawn Run, the only horse ever to complete the Champion Hurdle – Cheltenham Gold Cup double.


O’Neill first took out a training licence in 1986, but was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma that same year so, following intensive chemotherapy, didn’t saddle his first runners until 1988/89. From his original base, a farm in Penrith that he’d bought some years earlier with training in mind, he sent out a steady, if unspectacular, stream of winners.


However, in 2001, he was installed as the trainer at Jackdaws Castle – the Cotswolds training centre recently purchased by John Patrick ‘J.P.’ McManus – and, in 2001/02, saddled over one hundred winners in a season for the first time. In 2013/14, O’Neill enjoyed his most successful season ever, numerically, with 134 winners and over £1.57 million in prize money.


Grade 1 victories for Taquin De Seul in the JLT Novices’ Chase and More Of That in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Holywell in the Betfred Mobile Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree and Shuthefrontdoor in the Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse contributed over £394,000 to his prize money total for the season.



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