McManus to throw lavish bash for equine sport stars

The most lavish summer party of the year has been organised to honour a sporting hero who died when taking on his last great challenge.

More than 1,500 guests will gather at the home of racing legend JP McManus on Jul 28 to celebrate the win of his horse Synchronised in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last March.

The horse subsequently died in a fall at the Aintree Grand National.

But JP has decided to honour the horse’s achievements and that of his other great horse, Don’t Push It, which won the Grand National.

The equine stars will be toasted with the finest of wines in what promises to be a night to remember at his €100m home at Martinstown Stud, near Kilmallock.

A huge marquee is being erected for the event.

One local said: “It’s great to see JP throwing a party like this. It will be a welcome relief from all the bad weather and there is great excitement around with everybody speculating who will be there.”

The who’s who of the racing and sporting world have been invited and it is believed the Taoiseach and members of Government have also been invited.

Top hotels, including Adare Manor, the Dunraven Arms and The Strand have been booked to put guests up overnight.

Those staying in hotels will be ferried to and from Martinstown Stud in a fleet of luxury coaches. Guests will be collected by the coaches and the pre-dinner reception starts at 7pm.

A lavish dinner expected to be drawn from local specialities such as prime rib of Golden Vale beef, rack of Clare lamb and wild Kerry salmon will be complemented with wines from JP’s vast wine cellar.

A big band will lead guests onto the dance floor. Other entertainers are also lined up to keep the party kicking until dawn.

A ‘smart casual’ dress code has been requested on the invitations.

Some of JP’s close personal friends will stay at his new palatial home, which features nine vast bedroom suites, an 18-metre pool and 200-seat cinema.

The last big party at Martinstown was held in Jul 2007, to celebrate the wedding of his only daughter, Sue Ann, to Kerryman, Cian Foley.

The couple, who now have a baby daughter, live at Islanmore Stud in Croom, where they have carried out major renovations. They bought the historic stud farm from well-known racing figure, Tony Tarry.

While the party will celebrate the achievements of Synchronised and Don’t Push It, another great to carry the McManus colours, Istabraq, will get a look in from the paddocks in Martinstown where he now spends his retirement.

Those who got the gold-dust invitations will also receive a gift as a memento of the celebration night.

At previous celebrations in Martinstown, each guest was presented with a specially engraved gold Cartier pen.

The JP McManus charitable foundation donated over €30m to various charities in the Limerick area between 2007 and 2011, according to figures released from the Companies Registration Office.

The foundation was set up in 2000 and to date has raised up to €90m.

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