Sunday, 11th December, 2016

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Who is JP McManus?

JP McManus is an Irish businessman and gambler who is famed as a racehorse owner and for his gambling exploits. He is worth about $2 billion dollars and is one of the ten richest men in Ireland. He is a renowned high stakes gambler and has won millions of dollars, mainly on racing bets.

JP McManus’s Rise to Prominence

McManus was born in 1951 in Limmerick, Ireland. At an early age, discovered his incredible skill at hurling, an Irish game and represented Tipperary at county level games, thereby giving him his first exposure to gambling. When he was 19, he started betting on horses and had a streak of luck betting on a horse called Linden Tree in a New Market maiden. He was able to turn 4 pounds into 150 pounds. That experience tipped him into an obsession with racing and he eventually became a big-money punter. His father operated the family’s construction plant hire firm, where McManus would begin his business career before moving on to become an on-course bookmaker at the Market’s Field, a greyhound racing track in Limerick.

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When he was 19, he started betting on horses and had a streak of luck betting on a horse called Linden Tree in a New Market maiden. He was able to turn 4 pounds into 150 pounds. That experience tipped him into an obsession with racing and he eventually became a big-money punter. His father operated the family’s construction plant hire firm, where McManus would begin his business career before moving on to become an on-course bookmaker at the Market’s Field, a greyhound racing track in Limerick. He bought his first horse Cill Dara, which he kept at his 400 acre estate the Martinstown Stud. With over 100 horses, McManus is today the largest owner at the National Hunt racing. Some of his more famous horses include Istabraq a three-time winner of the Champion Hurdle, Don’t Push It, the winner of the 2010 Grand National Steeplechase and Synchronized, famous for problematic experiences including throwing off jockey Tony McCoy at the 2012 John Smiths Grand National and then breaking two legs after a fall at Becher’s Brook. Some famous jockeys who have ridden for McManus include Jonjo O’Neill and Barry Geraghty.

JP McManus’s Gambling Wins

When it comes to gambling, McManus is known as an incredibly high stakes player and betting rings around the world are elated and weary at his presence in equal measure. One of his most famous outings and which has led to a lot of controversy had him win a windfall of $17.4 million in a backgammon marathon against American billionaire Alec E. Gores in 2012. After the winning, the private equity investor withheld $5.2 million and paid it to the IRS as federal tax. McManus argued that his winnings on US soil were exempt from taxation due to a 1997 double taxation treaty signed with Ireland. However the IRS refused to refund the money claiming that McManus did not qualify as a legal resident of Ireland because he resided in Switzerland as of 2012. Nicknamed “Sundance Kid” because of his bold gambling, McManus has won tens of millions more usually from fellow tycoons. In 2006 he won $1.3 million from bookmaker Freddie Williams in just a single day. Another high stakes game that McManus played in pitted him against Hollywood star Tobey Maguire and other high profile players. After the game, one of the players who had lost millions of dollars sued Maguire for $311,000. The player had lost millions which he held in trust to manage and invest for his clients.

Nicknamed “Sundance Kid” because of his bold gambling, McManus has won tens of millions more usually from fellow tycoons. In 2006 he won $1.3 million from bookmaker Freddie Williams in just a single day. Another high stakes game that McManus played in pitted him against Hollywood star Tobey Maguire and other high profile players. After the game, one of the players who had lost millions of dollars sued Maguire for $311,000. The player had lost millions which he held in trust to manage and invest for his clients.

Aside from his interests in horseracing and gambling, McManus has interests in other sports as well. He once co-owned a 28.89% stake with John Magnier in giant soccer club Manchester United, which was later sold to current owner Malcolm Glazer. He is also an avid golfer and a close friend of Tiger Woods. During Woods’ infidelity scandal, McManus was one of his fiercest defenders.

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