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JP McManus buys Cheltenham Bumper contender Castello Sforza

Leading owner JP McManus has snapped up talented bumper performer Castello Sforza ahead of a potential trip to the Cheltenham Festival.

The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old has not been seen in competitive action since last April when making a winning debut in the colours of Sheikh Fahad's Pearl Bloodstock empire in a valuable sales race at Fairyhouse.

The Milan gelding subsequently went through the ring at Goffs unsold at 310,000 euro, but has since changed hands privately.

Castello Sforza is as short as 12-1 for the Champion Bumper, but connections insist no decision has been made on whether he will head for Prestbury Park.

McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: "He has had a few niggly little problems since he was bought, but Willie is back happy with him again now, so we'll see where we go.

"He'll be working at the weekend and we'll take it from there.

"We've not made any decision on where he goes at this stage."

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