In-form Geraghty a big boost For Anibale Fly
Champ winner of The @rsagroup Novice Chase @CheltenhamRaces Trained by @sevenbarrows Ridden by @BarryJGeraghty for JP McManus @itvracing @RacingTV @RacingPost #CheltenhamFestival2020 #cheltenham2020 #champ #nickyhenderson #barrygeraghty pic.twitter.com/9FvevJk5x2
— Andrew West (@andyjwest78) March 11, 2020
Former Irish Champion Jockey Barry Geraghty was at the top of his game on day two of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival with a double on the card, including success in the RSA Novices’ Chase.
Geraghty proved he is still one of the best jockeys in the sport for the big occasion – a good sign for backers of Anibale Fly in the 2020 Randox Health Grand National.
The Irishman ended day two of the Festival as the leading jockey at the meeting on three winners. His opening winner of Wednesday afternoon came on board Champ in the RSA Chase after the pair got up late to deny Minella Indo and Allaho respectively.
Geraghty then came out on top against 24 other jockeys in the big field of the Coral Cup. Dame De Compagnie justified going off as the 5/1 favourite for the Grade Three contest over hurdles.
Anibale Fly looks a solid bet at 20/1*
Anibale Fly is 20/1* in the Grand National betting and if Geraghty is confirmed as his chosen mount, which looks extremely likely, his odds are sure to be much shorter on the day of the race.
Geraghty has been on board the horse in all four of his appearances this season. His last outing came over hurdles at Naas, where he finished third of 13 runners in a 2m3f contest.
As the retained jockey of JP McManus, Geraghty has a large pool of horses to choose from in the 4m2½f contest this year. He partnered Anibale Fly in this race in 2018, finishing in the frame in fourth place.
Tony Martin’s runner does his best work in the latter stages of his races and that was the case in the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup as Geraghty did the steering. They finished second behind Al Boum Photo, 2½ lengths away from the winner.
Connections have opted to bypass Cheltenham this year to give Anibale Fly the best possible chance of success at Aintree. He has not run since his outing over hurdles at Naas, so should be fresh for his main target of the season.
Geraghty vying for second Grand National win
Geraghty has won the Grand National just once so far in his career after his sole success came on board Monty’s Pass in 2003.
The Irish-trained horse scored by 12 lengths at Aintree in an emphatic victory after going off at 16/1. He was heavily backed on the day of the race after being available at as big as 40/1 in the morning.
Geraghty will be one of the most experienced jockeys in the Grand National field in 2020. Between 2000 and 2014, he did not miss the race. Unfortunately, his run was ended when he broke his leg in 2015, missing that year’s contest.
Anibale Fly will benefit hugely from Geraghty being in his saddle next month. If successful, it will be a reward fully deserved for a consistent chaser at the highest level – and for a jockey who is one of the best of his generation.
*Odds subject to change.