McManus lands Irish Grand National

JP McManus with jockey Paul Townend after winning the Irish Grand National Steeplechase on Monday. Photo: Seb Daly.

FRESH from watching Limerick – who he sponsors – capture the National Hurling League in Cork, JP McManus was in Fairyhouse on Easter Monday to enjoy another personal success when he won the €500,000 Boylesports Irish Grand National courtesy of I Am Maximus (8/1).

McManus only just bought the gelding on the back of a reasonable showing at the recent Cheltenham Festival.

And, this was his first run in the famed green-and-gold silks of McManus (and South Liberties GAA).

I am Maximus was trained by maestro Willie Mullins and given a plucky ride by Paul Townend.

McManus, of Martinstown, has won this feature on several occasions, most recently with Shutthefrontdoor in 2014.

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Afterwards, McManus, who was accompanied by his wife Noreen, said: “I’m so lucky to have him. I won this forty years ago with Bit Of A Skite, with Edward O’Grady and Tommy Ryan.

“I’m just very excited to win it. I don’t think you ever get tired of winning the Irish Grand National. I must compliment Paul [Townend] and the ride he gave the horse.

“If he was listening to him, I would have said to pull him up after going a mile. But fair to play him, he dug and stayed really. It’s really special.

“You have to stay and he did that and did it in spades.”

At the same Festival Meeting, McManus and Mark Walsh teamed-up for a 175/1 owner/jockey treble.