JP McManus recalls how the ‘magical’ Grand National victory came at a time of heartbreak following the death of his daughter-in-law

Billionaire businessman JP McManus has spoken about the “doom and gloom” that hung over his family at the time of his historic 2021 Grand National victory.

Received a prestigious award for his contribution to the industry from Horsing Racing Ireland (HRI), Mr McManus peaked, saying Rachael Blackmore’s victory aboard the Minella Times was a “magical day”.

The landmark win at Aintree racecourse came just three months after the tragic death of the racehorse owner’s daughter-in-law, Emma McManus, while on a family holiday in Barbados.

In a rare public appearance at the HRI Awards at the Mansion House in Dublin, Mr McManus said: “There was a lot of doom and gloom around my house at the time.

“Everyone along with everything else was very, very emotional and Rachael the first lady to ride the winner of the National and she gave him such a polished ride it was so exciting and a day I will never forget.”

A number of horse racing luminaries paid tribute to Mr. McManus at the ceremony including Noel Meade, Nina Carberry, Charlie Swan and Aidan O’Brien.

Ms Blackmore said she grew up with Mr McManus’ famous hurdler Istabraq and was “very proud” to ride for him in the Grand National

She said every jockey “loves to dress up in green and gold,” a nod to the owner’s racing silk.

“The name of this award, Contribution to the Industry, is so fitting. As an industry we are very fortunate that racing is this man’s passion,” she added of the Limerick owner.

The award was presented to Tánaiste’s businessman Leo Varadkar, who said racing is part of Irish identity. “Ireland wouldn’t be Ireland without racing,” he said.

HRI Chairman Nicky Hartery also recognized Mr McManus’ contribution to the industry as well as his philanthropic work, which has included “bringing four All-Irelands to Limerick”.

Mr McManus said the award meant a lot to him and thanked his staff and “the many owners” who train his horses. He also thanked his stable staff, whom he said “don’t always get the recognition they deserve.”

Other honorees included jockey Kevin Manning, who won the Irish Racing Hero Award, and Sam Ewing, who won the Emerging Talent Award. Horse of the Year was Honeysuckle. Coaches Henry de Bromhead and John “Shark” Hanlon also received awards.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/jp-mcmanus-recalls-how-magical-grand-national-win-came-during-time-of-heartache-following-death-of-daughter-in-law-42200922.html JP McManus recalls how the ‘magical’ Grand National victory came at a time of heartbreak following the death of his daughter-in-law

Fry Electronics Team

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