Intense Focus gave Jim Bolger a third successive victory in a thrilling renewal of the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
The 20-1 chance was following in the hoofprints of Bolger’s Teofilo and New Approach and was always close to the pace in the hands of Kevin Manning.
The son of Giant’s Causeway was produced to lead inside the final furlong and although runner-up Lord Shanakill and third-placed Finjaan tried to claw him back late on, Intense Focus was narrowly in front at the line.
Manning said: "It was very, very close and I was between two horses, so I wasn't 100% sure.
“I asked Jim (Crowley on Lord Shanakill) and Richard (Hills on Finjaan) pulling up and none of us knew who had won.
“He travelled well for me and when the gap appeared, he went through it – he kept going to the line.
“He likes that quick ground and hopefully he’ll keep progressing.”