If you have ever been lucky enough to visit Jackdaws Castle you will know how spectacular the whole set-up is. From the incredible location to the first-rate yard facilities, Jonjo O’Neill has built one of the most impressive yards anywhere in the country. But, even by his own admission, the wins haven’t been coming in as thick or fast in the last few years.
So with that in mind, O’Neill has begun the process of re-building with all of his new changes being announced at his recent Owners Day. The first major change is the yard sponsor has changed. After a 13 year partnership with Jewson’s, their time has come to an end. The Wasdell Group has now taken over as backers of the yard. They one of the largest contract packaging suppliers to the healthcare, pharmaceutical and veterinary markets in Europe.
O’Neill said: “We’ve a fantastic new sponsor and it’s a big thank you to Martin Tedham and his crew.
“He has some nice horses with us and everyone is really looking forward to the season – it’s all systems go.”
And one of those nice horses that O’Neill refers to is Papa Tango Charly. He joins the yard off the back of a Goffs UK Aintree Sale record of £440,000. The four-year-old will carry the colours of Martin Tedham, the chairman of the yard’s new sponsor the Wasdell Group. Papa Tango Charly was one of 45 horses to parade on Owners Day.
“He’s a gorgeous horse,” said O’Neill.
“You can’t just go and buy Gold Cup horses but he looks like that type of horse. We might start in a bumper but we won’t rush him and he’s only cantering at the moment.”
Papa Tango Charly is one of more than 40 four-year-olds in the yard which O’Neill hopes will take the yard back to its winning ways. But while he waits for them to mature, he still has one or two aces up his sleeve. Sky Pirate, who ran in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival, looks set to be aimed at the BetVictor Gold Cup in November.
He also has huge potential in Cloth Cap, who is owned by Trevor Hemmings. The Grand National 2020 looks like the plan for him. The lightly chased seven-year-old was third in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr earlier this year. A few more runs under his belt this season and he could be one to watch in April.
So for now its onwards and upwards for Jonjo O’Neill and his crew at Jackdaws. An incredibly nice man and a wonderful trainer, we wish him all the best for the coming season.