O’Neil Hinds: Small owner making big moves
With the first quarter having ended, popular owner O'Shaun Connection (O'Neil Hinds) has held off the chasing pack to maintain his lead in the owners' championship, thanks to back-to-back winners at Caymanas Park on Easter Monday.
His winners were 4-5 favourites FLYING MIRACLE and BRAVE PROSPECT in the seventh and eighth races, respectively. Both were ridden by top apprentice Linton Steadman for trainer Neive Graham.
Once again, Hinds said he was happy to see his familiar light blue silks carried to victory by his two horses, as he duly ticked off his eighth and ninth wins of the season.
"Winning races is the joy of every owner and speaking personally, I am thrilled to win not one race today, but two. This has enabled me to hold on to the lead ahead of closest rivals Elizabeth DaCosta and Carlton Watson, with over $3.1milion in stakes," he explained.
"The fact that I have neither a classic horse nor a grade one horse at my disposal will affect my numbers down the road, but the key is to win consistently with claiming horses and see where it takes us, as I would love to win the owners' championship one day," said the 40-year-old owner.
WON 19 RACES
Hinds said his aim is to surpass his best ever season in 2013, when he won 19 races. His winners that year included the best horse he has owned to date, FANTABULOUS, who won races up to the open allowance level.
Hinds said FANTABULOUS was successful at stud and is the dam of a filly sired by Adore The Gold at New Blue Stud Farm. Also doing stud duties is PRINCESS SHANEIL, who enjoyed a fairly successful racing career.
A successful businessman, Hinds is the owner of the O & S Tack Room situated in the official car park at Caymanas Park. The Tack Room, operated by his wife Shauna-Kay Hinds, sells a wide range of horse accessories, medication and equipment to horsemen at the track.
"The facility came on stream in the summer of 2013 and has gone a far way in making things available to horsemen in an effort to make their work easier. Given its success, we went that extra mile by sponsoring a race - the O & S Tack Room Trophy - run annually in August for the past two years. This is our way of giving back to the sport," he emphasised.
Meanwhile, on a day when the young claiming apprentice Linton Steadman rode three winners on the holiday card, the 2-1 favourite SHINING LIGHT, with Paul Francis riding for owner/trainer Gary Griffiths, outfinished 5-2 chance DWAYNE STAR by a neck to win the Easter Sprint Cup overnight allowance feature over 1100 metres.