He looked to have a superb book of rides at Prestbury Park, but Irish jockey Barry Geraghty will miss this year’s Cheltenham Festival with injuries sustained from a fall on Supreme Novices’ and Triumph Hurdle hope Charli Parcs in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.
One of the finest jockey’s of his generation, Geraghty has recorded 34 winners at the Cheltenham Festival in his career but will be unable to add to that number this year after suffering a collapsed lung and six broken ribs.
Geraghty, retained rider for powerful owner JP McManus will therefore miss the rides on some of McManus’ most fancied runners at this year’s Festival in the green and gold silks including Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle favourite Unowhatimeanharry, Triumph Hurdle fancy Defi Du Seuil, Champion Hurdle prospects Buveur D’Air and Yanworth as well as other top-classes horses included Jers Girl, Modus, Movewiththetimes, Coney Island, Uxizandre and more.
It is a gut-wrenching outcome for Geraghty who is quite simply a genius in the big races and has an enviable record at the Festival.
However, the Irishman’s demise gives an array of other jockeys, most notably Mark Walsh, Aidan Coleman, Noel Fehily and potentially Aidan Coleman an outstanding chance of picking up a number of spare rides which are now available.
It’s disappointing for the Festival itself that one of its big-race jockey’s will not be at the Festival in a season which has already seen a number of equine stars exit stage-right.
Geraghty speaking to At The Races about his injury, commented: “I’ve a collapsed lung and six broken ribs on my right side. I’m obviously devastated to miss the Festival – there were so many good horses to look forward to as JP’s (McManus) team all look in particularly good shape this year.
“Last night was pretty rough. I’ve broken ribs individually before but never had six go all at the same time. I’ll be in hospital for a few more days but once the lung improves my recovery should be straightforward and I expect to be back for Aintree.”