You're A Star' winner David's Cheltenham hope
Roll on 2008', says Ferns favourite David O'Connor who has big plans for the new year. The former jockey, who was crowned You're A Star winner back in March 2007 after public vote and text, is not only preparing to launch his first album but is working hard on his new training yard.
Roll on 2008', says Ferns favourite David O'Connor who has big plans for the new year.
The former jockey, who was crowned You're A Star winner back in March 2007 after public vote and text, is not only preparing to launch his first album but is working hard on his new training yard.
The talented singer, with his full time staff of four, has his eyes set on Cheltenham after opening his own training yard recently. He has purchased a horse lorry, put in a gallop, training hurdles and has 21 horses under his care at the yard leased to him by Paddy and Kathleen Denby.
He believes he'll go all the way in the training business with a number of clients around the country including Teddy O'Connor in Rathnure, Joe Kearney in Offaly and Padraig Conlan in Edenderry.
I've also been fortunate to start a couple of syndicates,' he said. I've some real nice horses running in the new year.'
David is going for his trainer's licence on February 4 and following a two-week course he hopes to have the licence by the end of February.
He thanks his new sponsor at the yard, John Murphy of Stable Solutions.
They are a local Wexford company who have just started up catering for all stable needs,' he added. I'm very fortunate to get them.'
I've a really good bunch of staff running the yard and I've a couple of nice young horses running in March I'm really looking forward to that.'
David has been involved with horses for the past 15 years.
It's something I've always had a passion for,' he added. It was never going to go away. I'm very fortunate that Paddy and Kathleen Denby gave me the opportunity to set up, to get things going. Getting started, it's difficult to get the finance in place for land but they've given me a great start to get this kicked off.'
Whether he won You're A Star or not David believes he would still be setting up his own yard.
This was always the long-term plan,' he added. I never thought I'd be in a position to do it or that I'd find that I was able to do it but I'm very lucky and it is all looking good now.'
He plans to focus on quality rather the quantity at the O'Connor training yard.
I would rather have a good standard of horses and keep it at numbers that I can do my level best with every year. I'm looking for a winners rather than runners percentage.
If I had a run at Cheltenham, then I would be happy.'
Due to back injuries David had to give up his career as a jockey but says training was always at the back of his mind.
If this isn't keeping him busy enough he is putting just as much effort in to his singing career. He is currently in the recording studio every day preparing for his first album launch in March. He plans to release a new single in the first week of February. Released in December 2007 his single Complicated was well received by fans.
I've sold more than 2,000 copies just from performing at shows,' he said. It should have been number one for the last couple of weeks but it is only getting a barcode now so sales weren't registered,' he said.
Until the album release in March David plans to spend time in the recording studio every day.
On April 6 he kicks off his Irish tour in the Riverside Park Hotel with a five piece band, string quartet and brass section.
Between now and April I am going to be a very busy man,' he laughed.
It's just great to have good staff that I feel confident to leave the yard and focus on my singing.
The future is bright'.
Back in March David walked away with a recording with Universal Music, a publishing contract with Sony and ?10,000 worth of musical equipment but this was just a taste for the Ferns man who has his eyes set on so much more. He has only seen bits and pieces' of the latest Your A Star competition but he recommends it to anyone.
It is a great idea, a great way to get your name out there,' he said.
I want to thank everyone who supported me and I hope that they keep on supporting me in 2008. If I'm really lucky I'll get a number one in the charts.'