Adam O’neill ‘One on One’

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It has taken us a while to get around to getting up our first “One on One”  interview with a character in our racing industry. It is a chance to get to know a little bit more about the people who make the racing game in our region tick.

We are lucky enough to get young up and coming trainer Adam O’neill to have a bit of a Question and Answer with myself.  Adam is based out of Deagon just out of Brisbane. His is a top bloke who has spent most his life in the industry and experience that I am sure will see his name up in lights over the coming years in Brisbane racing…


Gibbo: Hello Adam, I guess we should start with finding out where you grew up?

Adam: I grew up in Ballarat Victoria for around 14 years, just near Dowling forest racecourse, also a few years in Bendigo came to Queensland in about 1998 for a 5 year stint. Went back to Victoria between 03 and 06.



Gibbo: I know your dad was a very successful trainer, is that how you were first introduced to racing? And I’m guessing it was at a young age?

Adam: Yes through my father Ian O’Neill being a trainer. I baisically started going with may him to the racetrack and just getting in amongst it all. Alot of very cold Ballarart morings leading horses to and from the track for the jockeys to work including a very young Patrick Payne. I would spend some mornings before school at the track mukking out stables and learing how to handle horses. From there i couldnt wait to turn 14 so i could get my strappers license to be able to lead the horses in to the mounting yard on race day.




Gibbo: As a trackwork rider you worked for some major stables, what is the best horse you have sat on?

Adam: Yeah i have been lucky enough to have ridden some very good horses, very hard to say the best. i rode for Gooree Park in Mudgee NSW where i rode horses such as Crown Glory, Grand Echazeaux, Tempest Morn ( both oaks winners), Barkarda, Mr Murphy ( dual group ones) Snowland but id say the best of them would have been Don Eduardo we never saw the best of him a 3.6 million dollar yearing. if i was to say my favorites it would be Le Zagaletta the tough sprinter from the Freedman stable and Youthful who my father trained.




Gibbo: For a bloke of 30 years of age you have experience people would kill for,  Who are some of your main mentors you have worked for and learnt off?

Adam:  I have learnt the most from my father without doubt, i spent some time at flemington working for Bart Cummings at saintly place, also have ridden a lot of Waterhouse horses and the Freedmans. i was given a fairly loose reign when i was stable foreman for my father at the Sunshine Coast we had a strong 16 horse stable and the horses taught me as much as anything as to what i could do to one; get them fit, and two; make them run fast.




Gibbo: What are a couple of your better horses or wins you have had?

Adam: One of my better horses was a good old open handicapper called Artique he was a great horse around the country cups in Victoria later on in his career city winner in QLD won around $200,000 in the end i think. Also a horse called Toppa who was my first winner as a trainer, he went on to get beaten in a photo to the emirates stakes winner Valadictum at Sandown hillside.

The one that got away would have been a horse called Confines who was well on his way to a great staying career running 2nd to Dracks Back then a 1.5length 4th at Moonee Vally in a very strong stayers race before breaking down, was to be his last hit out before coming to Queensland for the winter carnival.

Id have to throw in Our Voltage who won a strong Showcase race at Cranbourne by a fair margin.




Gibbo: What brought you up to sunny Qld to train?

Adam: My family moved to QLD in 1998, my father had health troubles at the time so the warmer climate was just the tonic. we brought 6 or 7 horses of our own up and ended up with one of the stronger provincial stables at the time.




Gibbo: Is there a difference in Qld racing to racing interstate?

Adam: Yes there is a big difference, i have had runners in 4 different states of Australia. 10 years ago the class of horse down south was far superior but its really starting to even up, the breeding seems have closed the gap. Ive also noticed with the southern racing bodies they are more in touch with the owners and trainers needs, with the introduction of ratings races and starters subsidies, just opens up for more opportunities for the placement of horses.





Gibbo: Have you got a couple of smart ones that the punters can follow coming up or in the future?

Adam: I have a very nice 3yo who is no secret now, horse called Untoward who is a son of Elvstoem, only had the one start and Retrieve who ran 3rd in the VRC derby won that race. He won an official trial at Doomben last week very well, so he’s on track for the winter all going well. Also Shockwaves who is racing in career best,  just need a dry track.




Gibbo: Thanks very much for spending some time with and I’m sure we will be hearing much more of you not just on our site but through all the media outlets when they are ringing to talk about your winners!



For anyone wishing to race a horse with Adam O’neill or wish to talk to him to find out more about his operation you can contact him on

PH: 0412040842




Adam has moved back to Victoria and has a website up and running.