Five days until the biggest week in racing begins
Barry Geraghty joined Alan Quinlan in studio on Newstalk Breakfast this morning.
Regarded as one of the country's top jockeys, Geraghty spoke about his road to recovery saying, “I broke three or four ribs, punctured my lung and broke a wing off my vertebrate. Not the ideal preparation for Cheltenham,” he added.
“I’m ok moving about, but I’m not much good to go and get stuck into doing anything”.
Cheltenham is regarded as the world cup for horse racing and obviously Geraghty is hugely frustrated to be missing out, after he feel at Kempton Park last week."It’s definitely disappointing and at this minute everything I would have ridden will win, but yano on the week it won’t happen that way. Look , you want to see them winning too. I’d love to see Yanworth win the Champion Hurdle. You’d love to see More of that do well in The Gold Cup.”
Yanworth trained by Alan King and owned by JP McManus is 3-1 best priced for the feature race of day one. More Of That has had a very disappointing season, although he has won at the festival before beating Annie Power in the World Hurdle a few years ago. He is 20-1 best priced for The Gold Cup.
Geraghty was asked about his banker of the week and there was no real surprise here, “Unowhatimeanharry has a rock solid chance in the Stayers Hurdle and he’s the one to beat. I think the dryer ground will make it more competitive. The likes of Jezki (Who Geraghty won the Champion Hurdle with in 2014), Ballyoptic and Cole Harden, if it is good ground it will bring them closer. It’s a good race but he is definitely a worthy favourite.”
Irish trainers have had great success in Cheltenham over recent years but there are a lot of big stars that will be missing at this year’s festival. The likes of Faugheen, Annie Power and Vautor are among the big names that will not be in attendance for Irish trainer Willie Mullins. However Geraghty was confident the Irish hopefuls could once again put in good performances next week, “I don’t see why not,” he said.”Obviously Willie [Mullins] doesn’t have as much firepower as he would have had last season, but he still has a good few hot pots. He has the favourite in the first [Melon], he’s got Yorkhill [JLT favourite], He’s got Douvan [Champion Chase], I think Djakadam is the one to beat in the Gold Cup, especially if the ground was just on the fraction of the easy side and there is ran due towards the end of the week which will suit him.”
“Gordon Elliott [Gigginstown trainer} has another strong hand there. I think he has a lot of strong horses in the handicaps. There’s no reason why the Irish won’t do well.”
Geraghty's tips for the Festival:
Tuesday 14th March - Yanworth best priced 3-1 for the Champion Hurdle
Wednesday 15th March - Special Tiara best priced 20-1 for the Champion Chase
Thursday 16th March - Unowhatimeanharry best priced 5-4 for the Stayers Hurdle
Friday 17th March - Defi Du Seuil best priced 9-4 for the Triumph Hurdle
- Djakadam best priced 4-1 for the Gold Cup