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Rich Ricci declares commitment to Irish racing

Updated: Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 09:22 | Comments

Paul Townend and owner Rich Ricci share a laugh after winning the Racing Post Novice Steeplechase with Arvika Ligeonniere at Leopardstown last year
Paul Townend and owner Rich Ricci share a laugh after winning the Racing Post Novice Steeplechase with Arvika Ligeonniere at Leopardstown last year

Powerful jumps owner Rich Ricci has pledged to support Irish racing "for as long as I can".

American-born Ricci and his wife, Susannah, have struck up a formidable partnership with champion trainer Willie Mullins, with whom they have enjoyed countless big-race victories.

Champagne Fever last season won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, while the unbeaten Annie Power looks a mare of limitless potential.

Yet despite being based in England, the former head of Barclays' investment banking arm says his racing allegiances will remain in Ireland.

Ricci said: "I love it here (in Ireland), I wouldn't race anywhere else. We race in England, selectively, but here it's good.

"I told Willie Mullins, I guess in 2005 when I bought a horse with him, that I'd buy more horses if there was a chance to be successful, and we've had great success.

"We had nine Grade One winners globally last season - seven in Ireland, one in the UK and one in Japan. It's extraordinary.

"I've very honoured to have such great support from Willie and all the people in Ireland for our horses, and I'll continue to participate here for as long as I can.

"It's wonderful. Great racing, great people, great prize-money and great craic."

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