He may have been 25/1 ante-post with some of the UK’s leading bookmakers for the 2014 Crabbies grand National but Ireland’s Champion trainer, Willie Mullins, has confirmed that his charge, Back In Focus, has picked up and injury and will be out for the rest of the season.
The 2013 National Hunt Chase winner had two primary options for the season, the first being the Cheltenham Festival in March while connections were also keeping their 2014 Grand National chances alive as well.
The Irish nine-year-old raider was a proven stayer and had a remarkable run last season when he earned four back-to-back wins between September 2012 and March 2013 winning at Punchestown, Leopardstown and Cheltenham, earning jockey Patrick Mullins his first ever jumps winner at the Cheltenham Festival.
With the 2014 Grand National entries due to be declared next week, already two prominent ante-post favourites have been ruled out. Both Cappa Bleu and Back In Focus were tipped as potential winners and that now leaves the door open for alternative runners to cause an upset on April 5 2014.
Owned by Andrea & Graham Wylie, they could have two other hopefuls ready do battle with the Aintree Fences as they also own On His Own and Prince De Beauchene, and if they manage to remain injury free before the race could cause and upset, though having said that On his Own has tried twice before and been unsuccessful on both occasions.