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Noel started training in 1970 with one horse Tu Va, which he owned in a partnership with his great friend Mick Condra. Tu Va was bought at Goffs in Ballsbridge for 100gns from Buster Harty
He was not a great horse but he won his races on the flat and over jumps, and on one occasion ridden by his trainer! He started Noel's career off on his as a trainer. Noel passed the 2000 winner mark in 2008 and is well on his way to 3000.
In the beginning training was mixed with running the family farm but by the middle of the 1970's it was obvious that training races horses was where the future lay
In 1978 the big breakthrough came when Sweet Mint won the Cork & Orrery Stakes(Golden Jubilee) at Royal Ascot. After that win the stable size multiplied
Through the 80's and well into the 90's the mix in the yard was about 80% Flat and 20% jumpers. Towards the middle of the 90's it was becoming more and more difficult to compete at the big flat meetings. The Arab horses, Aga Khan and the size of Coolmore and Ballydoyle, for this reason he made a very concious decision to move toward the NH environment. This proved a great decision and after a few seasons being runner up to Aiden O'Brien, he was crowned champion trainer in the 1999/2000 season
He is now the proud holder of 7 champion trainer awards and 9 leading trainers' awards for the most winners
He still trains a few flat horses and likes nothing better than having a go at the big flat prizes when he has the right horse. He still says to this day Sunshine Street was beaten 3 lengths into 4th place in the 1998 Epson Derby was one of his most exciting days racing
Noel is a big Meath GAA fan and has his horse boxes painted in the county colours with photos of the players on the sides and back! Keep an eye out for them on the road!