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Aintree

  • 16:15 John Smith's Sefton Novices' Hurdle 3m 110y

  • (Grade 1) £100,000 added 4yo+ 19 ran
  • Winner £56,520 2nd £21,310 3rd £10,650 4th £5,320
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 9.50s
  • Off time: 16:15:48

Sefton Back In Focus

Unbeaten gelding all set for Aintree

Last Updated: 07/04/11 2:18pm

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Sparky May: Interesting rival

Sparky May: Interesting rival

Howard Johnson believes the rain that has fallen this week will help his unbeaten Back In Focus in Friday's Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

The point-to-point recruitwas hugely impressive on his first start for Howard Johnson in a Grade Two at Haydock, after which his trainer decided to bypass last month's Cheltenham Festival due to the unfavourably quick ground.

"They've had a bit of rain, which will help him, and I definitely did the right thing not running him at Cheltenham as the ground was far too fast for him there," said Johnson.

"It would suit him even more if it was heavy, but we can't complain.

"He's in good form. He did a little sprint (on Thursday morning) and did it lovely.

"It's going to be a lot better race than what he's run in and he doesn't have a lot of experience, but he's a quick learner and we'll see how he gets on."

Big-race rivals

A fascinating 20-runner field includes Nicky Henderson's Mossley, who chased home stablemate Bobs Worth at Cheltenham, as well as Pat Rodford's talented mare Sparky May.

The six-year-old found the brilliant Quevega too hot to handle at Prestbury Park but jockey Keiran Burke is looking forward to getting back on board in Liverpool.

"I had to kick on when I did at Cheltenham but if I'd have held on to her a bit longer I think we'd have been closer," said Burke.

"We'd never have won, she'd have just beaten the others easier.

"I think three miles round there will suit her down to the ground.

"She's absolutely fine now, she's fresh as a daisy and schooled really well on Tuesday morning.

"She's in good form."

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