Compared with the likes of J.P. McManus, Gigginstown House Stud and Rich Ricci, financiers Simon Munir and Isaac Souede are ‘small fry’ in terms of Cheltenham Festival winners, with just four victories between them. Simon Munir has owned with Nicky Henderson for several years, winning the Triumph Hurdle with Soldatino in 2010 and the Fred Winter Juvenile with Une Artiste in 2012. However, since joining forces with Frenchman Isaac Souede, the partnership has continued to grow, in terms of numbers and quality, and now has horses in training in Great Britain, Ireland and France.
On this side of the English Channel, Munir and Souede have a decent variety of horses dispersed among Nicky Henderson, Nigel Twiston Davies, Alan King, David Pipe and, most recently, Ben Pauling in Britain and Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliot in Ireland. They won the Triumph Hurdle with Peace And Co, trained by Nicky Henderson, in 2015 and the Arkle Challenge Trophy with Footpad, trained by Willie Mullins, in 2018.
The latter, who remains unbeaten over fences, including four Grade 1 wins, has yet to win beyond 2 miles 3½ furlongs but, even so, looks a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in the making. Two of their other Cheltenham possibilities, Top Notch – who was only beaten a length by Yorkhill in the JLT Novices’ Chase in 2017 – and We Have A Dream, missed the Festival in 2018, but won their respective races at Sandown and Aintree, respectively, the following month and remain bright prospects for the future.
Munir and Souede may not be competing for the Leading Owner Award at the Cheltenham Festival any time soon, but their continued investment in up-and-coming young horses, not to mention their recruitment of Daryl Jacob as their retained jockey, must surely pay dividends at some point.