Rich Ricci, the co-head of Barclays’ banking and markets division (until recently known as Barclays Capital), made history in April. No, not for the size of his bonus – but for the success of the racehorses that he owns.
Ricci is a great supporter of National Hunt, or jump, racing in the UK and Ireland, and is a regular in the winner’s enclosure.
But at the Punchestown, Ireland, meeting on April 25, Ricci and his trainer, Irish champion Willie Mullins, surpassed anything they had achieved before in a single race. The first three horses to finish were all owned by Ricci and trained by Mullins – a feat never before seen in an Irish Grade One race. The winner, Marsonnien, was a 12-1 shot. You can probably bet that Ricci cleaned up at that price.
But we could not help but notice the name of the race – The Irish Daily Mirror War of Attrition Novice Hurdle.
Although named after a former champion racehorse, it seemed appropriate, given the current battle of wills between Barclays and the media over Barclays chief Bob Diamond’s pay package.