Ger­aghty, man for the big oc­ca­sion, hangs up his sad­dle

Grand Na­tional win was my ca­reer high, says 40-year-old Great­est era for Irish jump jock­eys is draw­ing to a close

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Mar­cus Army­tage

Barry Ger­aghty, one of the most suc­cess­ful jump jock­eys of the past 20 years, has an­nounced his re­tire­ment from rac­ing. His tally of 43 Cheltenham Fes­ti­val win­ners, five of which came in March shortly be­fore the lock­down, is bet­tered only by Ruby Walsh.

With Walsh and Paul Car­berry al­ready re­tired, Ger­aghty, 40, join­ing them, Davy Rus­sell just turned 41, and Rob­bie Power not far be­hind at 38, it is an­other re­minder that per­haps the great­est era for Irish jump jock­eys in the his­tory of the sport is draw­ing to its close.

Ger­aghty’s first big win­ner in Bri­tain was as a teenager on Miss Orches­tra for Jes­sica Har­ring­ton, his long-term ally, in the 1998 Mid­lands Grand Na­tional. He was cham­pion jump jockey in Ire­land in 1999-2000 and again in 2003-04.

In 2003, a few weeks af­ter rid­ing five win­ners at the Cheltenham Fes­ti­val and earn­ing his rep­u­ta­tion as a man for the big oc­ca­sion, he rode the Jimmy Man­gan-trained Monty’s Pass to vic­tory in the Grand Na­tional, en­joy­ing such a dream ride he de­scribed it as “like a school­ing ses­sion”. He can rightly claim to have rid­den two of the best two-mile chasers of this century in Moscow Flyer and Sprinter Sacre, he won the Gold Cup on Kick­ing King and Bobs Worth – who he had sold as a young horse to Nicky Hen­der­son – and four Cham­pion Hur­dles, on Pun­jabi, Jezki, Bu­veur d’Air and Epatante.

One of his finest rides was when River­side The­atre, who was off the bri­dle af­ter three fences, beat the AP McCoy-rid­den Al­ber­tas Run in the 2012 Ryanair Chase.

His ca­reer could be di­vided into three sec­tions: when he rode mainly for Har­ring­ton, Hen­der­son

Day to re­mem­ber: Barry Ger­aghty wins the 2003 Grand Na­tional on Monty’s Pass

Change of pace: Ger­aghty can now spend more time with wife Paula and fam­ily

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