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J. P. McManus

J. P. McManus
Born 10 1951 (1951-03-10) (age 65)
Residence Ireland, Switzerland, Barbados
Net worth 1.2 billion
Spouse(s) Noreen McManus
Children 3[1]

John Patrick "J. P." McManus (born 10 March 1951) is an Irish businessman and racehorse owner.


Early life

Born in Limerick, McManus began his business career at his family's construction plant hire firm, and then became an on-course bookmaker at Limerick's greyhound track, the Market's Field, before moving into horse ownership and punting and laying horses on the advice of his associate Jimmy Hayes. He now has a stud farm in County Kildare. He also became an accomplished backgammon player.

In 1982, he and his wife, Noreen, a former nurse, bought Martinstown Stud on over 400 acres (1.6 km2) in County Limerick from the McCalmont family. McManus's first horse was Cill Dara, which had been owned by the late Edenderry solicitor and legendary gambler, Tim O'Toole. McManus is now National Hunt racing's largest owner with over 400 horses in training. Famed for his huge, and mostly successful bets, he is well known to both racing fans and racing professionals although he remains somewhat an enigma.

In 2006, he built a €120 million residence on his Martinstown Stud farm in Co. Limerick.


McManus's first really big win was a horse called Mister Donovan at Cheltenham. Mister Donovan was the second favourite and won the race after the favourite Angelo Salvini whipped around at the start. McManus over the years was close to jockeys A. Brown, Mr T. Busteed, Mr N. Madden, Mr T. M. Walsh, Mr F. Codd, C. Roche, Ron Barry, B. Fletcher, T. Carmody, D. Gillespie, M. Flynn, Dermot Browne, F. Berry, John Francome and others and the legendary race commentator Peter O'Sullevan who helped him meet "the right people", among them former Vernons pools boss Robert Sangster. He says he "rarely bets" these days and when he does he usually describes them as "little bets." He says betting is "not an obsession" His distinctive green- and gold-hooped racing colours are those of the South Liberties GAA Club.

The most famous of his horses is Istabraq, a three-time winner of the Champion Hurdle. He has had no other horses in training with Istabraq's trainer, Aidan O'Brien, since O'Brien's move to Ballydoyle. Fifteen time Champion jockey Tony McCoy is retained as his stable jockey. Former champion jockey Jonjo O'Neill trains most of his horses at the Jackdaws Castle facility which McManus also owns. He has often appeared at race meetings in recent years with the British actor Clive Owen.

McManus's horse Don't Push It, ridden by McCoy and trained by O'Neill, won the 2010 Grand National Steeplechase

Currency exchange and business

A significant part of his wealth, though not all, appears to have been derived as a private Forex trader foreign exchange which he oversees from his office in Geneva, Switzerland, his official residence. He also has a permanent suite at London's Dorchester Hotel. He returns to Ireland regularly. Currencies are apparently his speciality and his bets on currencies are bank-scale, always working on the advice of his good friends Dermot Desmond and Joe Lewis. He is featured in "High Rollers of the Turf", by Raymond Smith. He now has a wide portfolio of investments from leisure centres and betting shops to pubs and nursing homes. He is a large shareholder in Ladbrokes.

Together with business associate John Magnier he built up a 28.89 per cent shareholding in Manchester United F.C., which they sold on to businessman Malcolm Glazer. In 2004, McManus set up 'Sporting Limerick' which sponsors Limerick GAA teams.

He is also a keen golfer and a close friend of Tiger Woods who got married at the Sandy Lane (resort) Hotel in Barbados, which he co-owns. The wedding at Sandy Lane was a gift from the owners of Sandy Lane to Woods.

He is a two-time winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pairs competition.


McManus's personal fortune is estimated at €1.2 billion (£900 million) but at its peak was probably closer to €2 billion. Like many others McManus is reputed to have been affected by the economic downturn.[2]

Charitable contributions

In 1996, McManus established the J. P. McManus Scholarship Award which provides €6,750 each year for third level education to eight selected students at his former secondary school C.B.S. Sexton Street in Limerick.[3] Every five years, he organises the J. P. McManus Invitation Pro-Am golf tournament in Limerick to raise funds for Limerick charities. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick and has funded the new Kemmy Business School at the University. Jim Kemmy, a dogged socialist, was a close friend of McManus's. Kemmy introduced the famous Irish tax amnesty onto the floor of Dáil Éireann.[citation needed]

On 22 February 2007, McManus was presented with the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College Dublin, in return for his charitable contributions.


From 1999, McManus enjoyed a very public battle with infamous Scottish bookmaker "Fearless" Freddie Williams. On 16 March 2006, McManus won in excess of £1 million from Williams at the Cheltenham Festival, the pair's favourite battleground.


McManus was diagnosed with cancer in late 2008 and is receiving treatment in the USA, he is said to be coping well.[4]


External links


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