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Focus takes soft option

Graham Wylie insists Back In Focus will never be risked on fast ground following his sparkling chasing debut at Listowel.

The point-to-point graduate made a brilliant debut under Rules in a Grade Two novice hurdle at Haydock in February of last year, but suffered a leg injury at Aintree a couple of months later that sidelined him for over a year.

Second in a Tipperary hurdle race on his return and debut for Willie Mullins, he took to fences like a duck to water with an exemplary round of jumping in Thursday's Kevin McManus Beginners' Chase. The seven-year-old is a best-priced 20/1 for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but Wylie's ground concerns will serve as a warning to ante-post punters.

The owner said: "He was very impressive, but I think he does need that soft ground. I think you'll find that in the future, unless it's soft ground, we'll not risk him."

Sunday Indo Sport