Cheltenham - At The Races

Barry Geraghty's blog

    Barry provides an update on his recovery from injury and previews Ayr’s Scottish Grand National card on Saturday.
  • Friday 12 April 2019
  • Blog

I’M UP AND ABOUT ON CRUTCHES AND ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

I’m happy to report that having had surgery on my injured leg last Tuesday, I was discharged on Wednesday. Thankfully, everyone involved was very happy with how it went and I’m very much on the road to recovery.

The external frame that has been placed around my leg is certainly different to what I’ve had before for similar injuries. I’m more mobile, but there is quite a lot of swelling that will take a week or two to settle down. I was back in the hospital this morning to make a few routine adjustments to the frame.

The way the whole thing works is very interesting, as over the course of the next 10 days or so there will be a lot of very slight adjustments made to the braces on the frame that ensure everything is where it should be. They took very detailed x-rays of my leg and have created a computer model based on them that dictates the adjustments. It’s amazing, really.

I’m up and about on crutches and I can bear some weight on the leg. Once the inflammation goes down, I’ll be able to bear more weight on it, but for now I’m still taking it easy enough.

I’m looking forward to watching Ayr on Saturday and one I’d give a good chance to in the Coral Scottish Grand National (3.35) is the Sean Doyle-trained Crosshue Boy.

He has a very interesting profile having won at the meeting last year and it looks as though he has been trained for this race all season. One thing you’d say is that his jumping probably needs to be a bit sounder, as he can be a bit chancey at times.

He is a nine-year-old now and I always think it’s a help in these long-distance races to be that bit older. Being fresh is also a big help to a horse at these spring meetings and while he ran earlier this month, you can be sure that Sean Doyle has trained him with only one day in mind. I’d be hoping he’ll run well.

I wouldn’t have as clear a fancy for the CPMS Scottish Champion Hurdle (2.25), but Nicky Henderson clearly has a very strong hand.

Verdana Blue is the class in the race and she’ll love getting back on good ground. Claiming 7lb off her makes sense and she looks to have a good chance. Brain Power will be suited by the track and ground, but he’ll need to put his best foot forward.

Nico rides Mister Fisher and you’d have to give him a good chance based on his win over Bright Forecast at Haydock, but he was a bit disappointing at Cheltenham. Maybe inexperience caught him out there, but he needs to bounce back.

He is less exposed than the other two and if he was back to his best, he’d have to have a big chance.

Had I been there, I’d have been likely to be riding the Harry Fry-trainedOnefortheroadtom in the J&D Pierce Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase (1.55).

He hasn’t lived up to expectations over fences as of yet. He finished second at Kempton last time, but was ultimately well held. He steps up to three miles in first-time cheekpieces here and one or both of those things will need to bring improvement out of him if he is to win.