Back In Focus, middle, follows Aupcharlie over the last at Leopardstown
©Healy Racing Photos
By Michael Graham
Willie Mullins had a one-two in the Grade 1 Topaz Novice Chase as Back In Focus wore down Aupcharlie to win by a head.
< Aupcharlie (8/1) nodded after jumping the last in front and Ruby Walsh galvanised Back In Focus to get his head in front close home and justify 6/4 favouritism.
“That’s a fantastic win. We didn’t think for one minute that Ruby would get back up until he did. He needs every inch of three miles and ground even softer that that. He’s a real winter horse,” Willie Mullins said.
“As much as I’m delighted I’m sorry for Aupcharlie and Andrew Lynch. It was only his second run over fences and he’s run a fantastic race.
“Back In Focus has the RSA written all over him. We’ll look for a race over three miles for him.
“With Aupcharlie we could look for the PJ Moriarty. We’ll keep them apart. There is no point in them taking each other on again.
“Aupcharlie could be a horse for the Jewson. The way he jumped he could even come back to the minimum trip. They are two horses to look forward to.”
Texas Jack got third-placed money at 33/1 for Noel Meade and Paul Carberry.
< Back In Focus is unchanged at 14/1 with Paddy Power and Boylesports for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham. Satn James have cut him to 12/1 from 16s while they have Aupcharlie at 10/1 from 16/1 for the Jewson.
This Willie Mullins' third winner on the day: Dogora (1/2) at Limerick and Supreme Carolina (5/1) at Leopardstown were the other two.
(Additional reporting by Gary Carson)