At The Races

Barry Geraghty's blog (6 May)

Exclusive to attheraces.com! In his final blog for the 2013-14 National Hunt campaign, top jockey Barry Geraghty looks back at his end-of-season mounts including at the Punchestown Festival where he rode four winners, two of which were in Grade 1 races.

FOUR WINNERS AT THE PUNCHESTOWN FESTIVAL SEALED A SUPER SEASON

As expected, the 2014 Punchestown Festival produced five of the best days racing you could wish for and I was fortunate enough to come away with four winners.

Trust me when I tell you that it’s hard enough to get one at that meeting because even though it’s over five days there are quite a few races for amateurs and the professionals can’t ride in the bumpers in Ireland.

Although I wasn’t on Jezki I was pleased to see him confirm his Cheltenham superiority over Hurricane Fly.

And as far as my season in Britain has been concerned it was very satisfactory.  I was provided with some top-class horses by Nicky Henderson and got to ride some quality winners for J P McManus including that Champion Hurdle on Jezki and the World Hurdle on More Of That.

And don’t forget, Nicky was missing two of top class performers for most of the season, Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig.

They are both something special to look forward to in 2014-15.


BARRY’S DE-BRIEF

CALL THE COPS ATR Tracker did the job nicely at Ludlow when I was over the week before last winning the two mile five novice hurdle. He’ll appreciate a bigger track.

ONE CONEMARA ATR Tracker didn’t help his chance with a mistake at the last in the three mile handicap hurdle but he liked the better ground.

NICOLAS CHAUVIN ATR Tracker pleased me in the bumper but didn’t help himself on debut by running free early. Travelled like a nice horse once he settled but he got a bit tired late on in a race that rode decent.

HUNT BALL ATR Tracker found the ground too soft at Sandown.

POLLY PEACHUM ATR Tracker very nearly snatched the two mile six listed hurdle. She’s progressing all the time and is one we’re all looking forward to next season.

COOL MACAVITY ATR Tracker is improving at the right time and found a good turn of pace to win the two-mile handicap hurdle on the first day of The Punchestown Festival on Tuesday. Nicky has him in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday when I’m suspended. He’s been bumped up 9lb for his win but looks progressive enough to overcome that. Likes nice ground.

BEAT THAT ATR Tracker did well to win a tough contest in the three-mile Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror. He was just a bit quieter than he was at Aintree. A summer out is just what he wants; he’s still immature and will improve a lot physically.

FIRST LIEUTENANT ATR Tracker ran a cracker to be second in the Punchestown Gold Cup, he just came up against a horse on his “A” game in Boston Bob.

MACNICHOLSON ATR Tracker continues to improve and defied a penalty in the two-mile handicap hurdle on Wednesday. He’ll appreciate further and better ground so we’ll have fun with him in the summer.

GOD'S OWN ATR Tracker produced a massive effort to win the two-mile Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase at 25-1 but there was no fluke about it. He jumped brilliantly and that’s what sealed it. It’s going to be a big help that he’s a novice in England all next season.

HUNTING PARTY ATR Tracker did nothing wrong in the three mile six furlong handicap chase on Saturday. Loves better ground so he’s one that Dessie can enjoy in the summer.

HEANEY ATR Tracker showed that there’s a big handicap chase in him by the way he performed in the three-mile handicap chase. He was only ten lengths off the winner in fourth.