At The Races

Barry Geraghty's blog

Barry is aboard leading Cheltenham Festival contender Charli Parcs in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.


I am looking forward to riding CHARLI PARCS (1.50) for the first time in a race in the Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

I’ve ridden him work and I have schooled him, and we have always liked him. We hoped that he would win on his debut in Britain at Kempton over Christmas, and he did it nicely.

I rode him work last Saturday, and he worked well. I was happy with him, Nicky is happy with him, so we just have to hope that he can progress again. This is just his second run for us, just his third hurdle race in all, and this is a big step up in grade from last time, into an Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.

Evening Hush is a talented filly, she sets a good standard. She was a bit disappointing behind Defi Du Seuil in the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow the last time she ran, but she was very impressive in winning at Aintree on her previous run. I rode in that race, and she just ran away from us.

She is rated 142 and we have to give her 7lb, so Charli Parcs will have to be good if he is going to beat her. It should give us a good indication of how good he is.

I ride RIVER FROST (1.15) in the opening handicap hurdle. He was running well at Wincanton last time when he fell at the second last flight, but I don’t think that we would have beaten the winner. By the same token, I’m not sure that we would have won at Kempton on the previous occasion if Meet The Legend had not fallen at the last.

But he goes there with a chance on Saturday. That run at Kempton was probably his best yet, and the fact that he is going back to the track is a positive. He is only five, and he has the scope to progress.

I ride FULL SHIFT (4.10) in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase. He had good form last season in good races, including when fourth in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but he has struggled this term.

He hasn’t really been able to get it together in his three runs so far this season, but he has had a small break now since Cheltenham in December. He is back down to a reasonable mark, and he is returning to the course and distance where he won a novices’ handicap chase in December last year.

I have picked up the ride on VIVA STEVE (3.35) in theBetBright Handicap Chase. He has good form over this course and distance, he finished sixth in the race last year, and he finished second in a decent handicap chase at last season’s King George meeting.

He made all and stayed on well to win at Ayr on his debut this season, his first run for Fergal O’Brien and, while he was disappointing last time in the Classic Chase at Warwick, hopefully he can bounce back now at a track that he handles and over a shorter distance.

I ride CHAMP (4.45) in the last, the bumper. He is out of a half-sister to Best Mate and he won well at Southwell on his racecourse debut. It probably wasn’t a great bumper, but he did it well.

He was green too, so he should come on for that, and I hope that he can progress again.

I am at Naas on Sunday, where I ride ANY SECOND NOW (3.50) in the Grade 2 novice hurdle.
He surprised just about everyone when he won at Navan on his racecourse debut in December, and he stepped up on that to win a Grade 2 race at Punchestown last month. He battled on well that day to get the better of Crack Mome and Runfordave.

He has to carry a penalty on Sunday, he has to give weight to all his rivals, but he has won his two races now, he is talented and he shows a good attitude, so hopefully he can step forward again.

I ride EDWULF (3.20) in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase. He has been running well, but he has fallen or unseated now five times, including once in a point-to-point and once over hurdles. Hopefully he can put in a clear round on Sunday, because he really isn’t a bad jumper. He just sometimes gets one wrong.

He has plenty of weight, but he has good form on soft ground and if his jumping holds up he should run well.

I ride NEVER OFF DUTY (2.20) in the opening race, the maiden hurdle. I don’t know that much about him, but he was a good winner of his point-to-point at Dromahane in December, a four-year-olds’ maiden, so hopefully he can start off well now under rules.