sport

Perfect Poli for Mullins

Don Poli gave Willie Mullins his fourth winner at Cheltenham this week with victory in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

The five-year-old, a third winner on the day for owners Gigginstown House Stud, drew away from his main challenger Thomas Crapper up the hill after a prolonged battle.

Mikey Fogarty drove Don Poli (12-1) home by four and a half lengths, with Caid Du Berlais a length and a quarter back in third. Urbain De Sivola ran an incredible race to finish fourth after being left many lengths at the start.

Gigginstown supremo Michael O'Leary said: "I think I've died and gone to heaven, it's amazing.

"He won three miles last time out and I had no plans to come here, but Willie felt it took a stayer to win the race and that's a fantastic performance by Willie, he's a genius trainer.

"Mikey gave him a brilliant ride and I couldn't be happier."

Mullins said: "That was terrific. We've had a bit of luck in this race, winning it with Sir Des Champs, and I really wanted to make sure we have a runner now we have Mikey based with us.

"He was a good amateur, has recently turned professional and it looks as though he's going to make the grade.

"The horse won well and I'm delighted to finish the Festival with a winner.

"It was starting to look like nothing today was going to go right after Ruby (Walsh) got injured, Paul (Townend) got injured and then we were nudged out of a Gold Cup."