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Focus grabs Oaksey glory

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."


From Belfast Telegraph