Great Britain

Matt Chapman on Barry Geraghty – our man pays tribute to the top jockey after he calls it time at the age of 40

OVER the last five years Barry Geraghty has been injured in just about one in three days.

And I’m not talking a sore thumb or a blister. 

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Geraghty has broken both legs, both arms, ribs and a shoulder blade. To name just some of his fractures.

Few people could cope with that at work, and fewer still would want to carry on their line of work in that situation.

So, to be honest, it’s no surprise Barry has hung up his boots as he nears his 41st Birthday.

Indeed, many expected the news, and I know here at Sun Racing and at ITV we were fully prepared for Geraghty possibly retiring during the Cheltenham Festival in March.

As it was, Geraghty reminded us all he has been one of the greats, banging in Epatante in the Champion Hurdle before winning on Dame De Compagnie, Champ and Sire Du Berlais.

To cap it all he then made his final ride at Cheltenham a winning one on Saint Roi in the County Hurdle.

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During a 24-year Geraghty won all the big ones including the Grand National and the Gold Cup, and rode two of the greatest horses in the modern era in Moscow Flyer and Sprinter Sacre.

Geraghty was sponsored for much of his career by the old Attheraces TV channel, a network I am part of, which used to show all the Irish racing.

As such I used to see him a lot and interviewed him many times in Ireland and in England.

I’m sure I annoyed him frequently - as I do most people - but he was always friendly, helpful and interesting.

He was also never shy to talk about horses and chat about the sport we love. He says he will miss the buzz . . . but I will miss the way he rode his horses into the last fence. Nobody did it better.

Racing will have done Geraghty well and he will look back on his riding career with pride and look forward with excitement.

He’s a family man. And they have seen him a lot more in the lockdown and it is clear that time at home has helped make his mind up as he has enjoyed being with them more than ever.

His family’s gain will be racing’s loss. Thoughts will turn to who will take over from Geraghty as No1 rider for JP McManus’ in Britain.

Mark Walsh, already JP’s man in Ireland, is on the list, as are Jonjo O’Neill and Aidan Coleman.

One thing’s for sure, Barry’s boots - wherever he has put them now - will take some filling.

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