Ballarat scalps O’Neill to lead

Dylan O’Neill

Dylan O’Neill

WODONGA and District Turf Club is on the lookout for a new racecourse manager and curator to replace Dylan O’Neill.

O’Neill has accepted the same role at Ballarat Turf Club after being headhunted by that club, and will start his new position on June 2.

Originally from Wodonga, O’Neill started his apprenticeship at the club in 1997.

He spent a few years in Queensland after completing his apprenticeship before returning to the club in 2004.

O’Neill clocked up 10 years service last month.

He said the opportunity to work at a bigger race club like Ballarat was too good an opportunity to refuse.

“It’s a great opportunity careerwise because there is no bigger club in country Victoria than Ballarat,” O’Neill said.

“There are nearly 30 race meetings a year and the club has got all the facilities, including a synthetic training track.

“Victoria’s leading trainer, Darren Weir, also trains at the track.

“It is going to be a big change but I’m excited by the challenge.”

O’Neill will be reunited with former apprentice Nick Stubbs, who is assistant manager at Ballarat.

He will oversee his final meeting at Wodonga on Sunday when the club stages a seven-race TAB meeting.

O’Neill manages the Wodonga course with assistant manager Dustin Cundy alongside Milham Talbot, Peter Rooney and Jack Maher.

“I really enjoyed my time at Wodonga and was lucky enough to have fantastic support staff around me,” O’Neill said.

Wodonga man- ager Tom O’Con- nor said whoever replaced O’Neill would have big shoes to fill.

“Dylan has done a fantastic job over a long period and it’s a good achievement to be headhunted by a big club like Ballarat,” he said.

“While it’s sad to see him leave it’s great recognition for the club, track and his development here.

“But it opens the door for the existing staff and the new track manager’s position will be discussed this week before we announce a replacement.”