The Punt: JP McManus the real winner without a doubt
Published 15/03/2014 | 02:30
HILARIOUSLY named Rich Ricci has lost none of his trademark swagger since exiting as chief of Barclays' investment banking arm last spring. Word on the street is, he came down with a bad case of 'my horse is better than yours' in the run-up to this week's Cheltenham showdown against fellow City bigwig Andy Stewart.
Ricci – who lives in a seven-bedroom 18th century mansion in Kent but flies to Dublin most weekends by private jet to watch his horses train – owns about 30 thoroughbreds whose names include Fatcatinthehat.
Stewart, multimillionaire founder of Cenkos Securities, entered three horses against Ricci's Annie Power in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle on Thursday. Ricci was unimpressed, he said. "Rich Ricci has told me that Annie Power has already won the race," Stewart said at a Festival preview last weekend.
But pride comes before a fall, as Barclays execs know better than most. Neither Ricci's horse Annie Power nor any of Stewart's took gold; that honour went to JP McManus' More Of That.
As a company, Barclays is no stranger to talking up what later proves to be not-so-sweet investments. This week, deputy chairman Michael Rake claimed that the bank's former boss Bob Diamond "did a phenomenal job".
Barclays investors – still sore from a £290m (€346m) fine for Libor fixing under Mr Diamond's watch – may remember things slightly differently.