BILLIONAIRE racing genius JP McManus has secretly bought a huge Cheltenham Festival fancy – after she beat his horse.
McManus privately negotiated a deal for six-year-old mare Impervious.
The owner, whose gold and green hoops are synonymous with Festival winners, splashed out after she beat Dinoblue, another horse he owns, at Cork on December 11.
Having a made a fortune as a bookie, then in financial markets and as a co-owner of Manchester United, McManus is hardly short of a bob or two.
And he knows a good bit of business when he sees it – hence the move for Impervious.
Trainer Colm Murphy let it be known the formerly Paul McKeown-owned chaser was for sale after that Cork race.
Soon after JP McManus was listed as the horse's official owner.
Murphy is now setting sights on the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase and a bumper March payday.
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He told the Racing Post: "We think a lot of her.
"Fingers crossed, she'll be a lucky mare for JP and that she has a good season ahead."
Impervious is currently a 7-2 shot for the Festival race.
Allegorie De Vassy, trained by Willie Mullins and owned by Rich Ricci, was the 10-3 favourite with sponsors Paddy Power.
However, she was cut to 5-2 following an impressive victory at Limerick on Wednesday.
McManus vs Ricci would be one of the big owner head-to-heads of the Festival.
Multi-millionaire banker Ricci has branded himself the 'maddest f***er on the planet' previously.
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