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Barry hopes to end National drought
18 Apr 2014 17:05
Barry Geraghty’s career spans 27 years and well over 1,000 winners yet an Irish Grand National winner still eludes the two-time Irish Champion jockey.
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Ironically, the Meath native grew up just a short distance from the Fairyhouse track that hosts the National festival every Easter.
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“It’s a great race,” Geraghty told RTÉ Sport. “I’m from very close to Fairyhouse, only about ten minutes away, so I grew up going to the National as a kid and always dreamt of winning it but unfortunately it hasn’t come my way yet.”
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Geraghty will ride Jonjo O’Neill’s strongly-fancied Shutthefrontdoor in Monday’s Boylesports Irish Grand National, and he will be hoping to break his duck after never quite getting into the mix on the winning line.
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He said: “Fifth or sixth is the best I’ve done. I’ve ridden a lot of favourites over the years, plenty of fancied horses but unfortunately I’ve been brought down, fallen or pulled up.”
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“You do need a lot of luck and it’s such a competitive handicap” - Barry Geraghty
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The National is one of the biggest prizes in Irish horse racing – last year 50/1 shot Liberty Counsel claimed the win for Mullingar trainer Dot Love – and like its UK counterpart race at Aintree it can often take more than a bit of luck to make it first past the post, a fact Geraghty clearly acknowledges.
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“You do need a lot of luck and it’s such a competitive handicap,” he said.
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“It’s a classy race. You’ve seen the results the last couple of years. [Trainer] Dot Love won it last year, with a light weight as well which is a big help too.
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“I can’t really do those light weights, so it doesn’t really help my case either.
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“But that’s the race and it does tend to be wide open.”
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The JP McManus-owned Shutthefrontdoor is currently 12/1 for the race, joint-second favourite behind 10/1 shot Home Farm, trained by Arthur Moore.
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