BILLIONAIRE racing legend JP McManus has swooped to poach a fifth horse from a little-known owner.
Grade 1-winning chaser Feronily will now run in the famous green and gold hoops after being bought from Paul Byrne, dubbed the 'shrewdest guy in racing'.
McManus and Byrne have struck up a strong business relationship in the horse transfer market.
And the iconic owner's latest purchase is his fifth from Byrne, the Irish son of a late bookie.
Six-year-old gelding Feronily went from third in a bumper in February to Grade 1 champion chaser in April.
The Emmet Mullins-trained star landed Punchestown Festival's Champion Novice Chase at 7-1 just a month after winning a maiden hurdle at Limerick.
His Festival win was worth £66,000 to connections and it's fair to assume McManus has paid several times that total to own the horse.
Feronily follows The Shunter, Filey Bay, So Scottish and Corbetts Cross in going from Byrne to McManus.
It appeared Byrne knew he would be selling the horse when interviewed after that Punchestown win.
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When asked by Racing TV's Kevin O'Ryan if the horse would be on his way to a new owner soon, Byrne could only laugh.
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Mullins jumped in to say winning jockey Donagh Meyler had begged them not to sell because it meant he would in all likelihood be jocked off in future.
That plea fell on deaf ears though – and McManus will hope Feronily turns into a mega money-spinner.
The Shunter, Filey Bay and So Scottish have hardly set the world alight since moving to McManus.
So Scottish was well beaten in the Plate at Cheltenham Festival, while The Shunter and Filey Bay have just two wins between them.
Corbetts Cross was vying for the lead when dramatically running out at the last in the Albert Bartlett.
McManus enjoyed more success with I Am Maximus earlier this year.
He bought the horse from Michael Grech – whose death aged 63 was announced recently – barely two weeks before landing the Irish Grand National.
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