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Thursday 5 May 2016

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Focus grabs Oaksey glory

Published 13/03/2013

Back In Focus got up late to win the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase
Back In Focus got up late to win the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

Back In Focus put up a determined staying performance to give trainer Willie Mullins his fourth winner of this year's Cheltenham Festival in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase.

The Patrick Mulllins-ridden eight-year-old, who has stamina in abundance, looked beaten in the closing stages, but he wore down Tofino Bay up the hill to snatch the spoils from Nina Carberry in the four-mile contest for amateur riders.

Rival d'Estruval fell at the second-last when separating the two principals and it was Back In Focus (9-4 favourite) who scored for owner Graham Wylie by half a length from Tofino Bay. Godsmejudge was 19 lengths back in third.

When asked to put into words the sensation of a Festival winner - his first over fences - Patrick Mullins, the son of the trainer, said: "It's like trying to describe colour to a blind person.

"He was a little bit keen. He made one mistake down the back straight and I had to sit and let him get his breath back.He's very tough and very brave. He was brilliant."

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