At The Races

Barry Geraghty's blog

Top jockey Barry Geraghty looks back on his recent rides including at Kempton on Saturday where he took the Lanzarote Hurdle aboard Modus, one of his two winners at the Sunbury track.

LANZAROTE SUCCESS A DESERVED DAY IN THE SUN FOR MODUS

It was nice to ride a double at Kempton on Saturday and to win the Lanzarote Hurdle on MODUS ATR Tracker.

Modus deserved to win a good handicap hurdle like this. He went close in a listed handicap hurdle at Ascot on his debut this season, and he was only beaten a half a length in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November.

All the while he was creeping up the weights without winning, he hadn’t won since November last season when he was a novices’ hurdle at Newbury, so it was great that he was able to win one.

He was good through his race. He travelled well for me and his jumping was accurate. He picked up nicely for me to go on into the lead between the last two flights, and he kept on well all the way to the line, seeing out the two miles five furlongs well on his first attempt at the distance.

I’d say he appreciated the step up in trip, but he also appreciated the slight drop in class. This probably wasn’t as good a race as the Greatwood Hurdle, or as the old Ladbroke Hurdle that he contested on his previous run.

 I can’t say that this was a step forward from him, it was probably the slight drop in class together with the step up in trip enabled him to travel well through his race, and it was good that he was able to finish off his race as well as he did.

We may have got a bit lucky with RIVER FROST ATR Tracker in the last race, the two-mile handicap hurdle, given that Meet The Legend came down at the final flight when he was still in front.

I can’t say that we would have definitely beaten the leader, but we were mounting a challenge, so it’s not certain that we wouldn’t have won either.

My horse ran well anyway, it was his first handicap. He jumped well and he kept going. He is only five and this was just his third race over hurdles, so hopefully he will improve again.

ALPHA MALE ATR Tracker didn’t run badly in the three-mile novices’ hurdle. He probably found the ground to be softer than ideal for him. He just kept on to finish third, and he should be able to win his races.

BALLYOISIN ATR Tracker was good in winning his beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday. His jumping was good, as you would have expected. He probably learned a lot from his fall at Fairyhouse on New Year’s Day.

He does race aggressively, and he paid the price for that the last day, but he was better on Sunday, he gave his fences more respect. He won well and he should be able to build on this.

PEOPLES PARK ATR Tracker was a little disappointing in the Bar One Racing Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase.

He travelled great for me for about a mile, but he struggled from half way. Maybe the trip was on the sharp side for him, but he won over the course and distance in early December, and the horse that he beat into second place that day finished in front of him on Sunday. Maybe the handicapper just has a hold of him now.

It was good to win on O O SEVEN ATR Tracker at Huntingdon on Friday. I rode him in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2015, so it was nice to get back on him and win on him over fences.

He had the form to win a novices’ handicap chase like that one, even off top weight, but he had to be good to do so. His jumping was good and he battled well up the run-in to get home by a half a length. It was a fine gutsy performance.

At Punchestown on Saturday, Any Second Now ran out a good winner of the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Hurdle for the boss.

Mark gave him a lovely ride, he got him settled nicely in behind and, when he went for him, Any Second Now picked up well and stayed on strongly.

He might have been helped by the fact that Crack Mome made a mistake at the last, but he still had to be strong on the run-in. He has won both his races now and hopefully he will be able to improve again.