The Life of Owner JP McManus

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The Life of Owner JP McManus

JP McManus - one of the most infamous and well known owners in horse racing.

His green and gold hoops are ever present in the sport that we all love, but how did he acquire of all of his success?

Born in Limerick, Ireland, McManus began his business career at his family's construction plant hire firm. Dubbed ‘The Sundance Kid' he then went onto become an on-course bookie at his local greyhound track.

JP later moved into the horse racing ownership and the punting field, where in 1982 - alongside his wife Noreen, they purchased Martinstown Stud in County Limerick.

McManus's first horse was called Cill Dara, but has since become National Hunt racing's largest owner, with currently well over one hundred horses in training.

The 67yo is well known for taking a bargain when he sees one, and was very active in the weekend just gone - securing a deal for leading Supreme Novices' fancy at the Cheltenham Festival - Fakir D’Oudairies, Triumph hopeful Konitho, as well as Champion Bumper chance Blue Sari.

Fakir D'Oudairies had been destined to run in the Triumph Hurdle too after his sensational display in a trial a couple of weeks ago.

With McManus already well represented in that contest with Leopardstown winner Sir Erec, McManus and trainer Joseph O'Brien could make use of the juvenile's weight allowance and his eyecatching natural ability to bid for the Supreme instead - against all aged novices.


The green and gold hoops could be spotted in the winners enclosure plenty of times in the weeks to come, with Champ, Defi Du Seuil and OK Corral all with leading chances at Prestbury Park in March.

McManus's first Cheltenham Festival winner came in the shape of Mister Donovan almost forty years ago - which highlights the length of dominance the great man has had in the sport.

He has had many high-profile stars over the years, but arguably the most famous of his horses was the outstanding Istabraq, a three-time winner of the Champion Hurdle.

Twenty time champion jockey Tony McCoy was retained as his stable jockey for a large part of his career, a role that Barry Geraghty has taken over since McCoy's retirement.

Another former champion jockey Jonjo O'Neill trains some of his horses at the Jackdaws Castle which McManus also owns.

McManus has tasted success in the greatest steeplechase in the world - the Grand National, with Don't Push It in 2010, ridden by McCoy and trained by O'Neill.


Today, many other trainers have McManus horses in their yards - common for the likes of Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Philip Hobbs.

In 2012, McManus won the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Synchronised, who then went on to run in the 2012 Grand National, sadly suffering a fatal fall at Becher's Brook.

McManus celebrated his 50th Cheltenham Festival winner when Buveur D'Air won the Champion Hurdle in 2017.

A significant part of McManus' wealth, though not all, appears to have been derived as a private foreign exchange trader, which McManus operates from a small office in Geneva, Switzerland.

McManus has also had a permanent suite at London's Dorchester Hotel for over thirty years and he returns to Ireland regularly.

Turning sixty-eight next month, he now has a wide portfolio of investments from leisure centres and betting shops to pubs and nursing homes. He remains a large shareholder in the bookmaker Ladbrokes.

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