18 The Daily Telegraph Monday 13 July 2020 *** Sport Racing – when he commuted the Irish Sea for eight seasons – and then the owner JP McManus. “They were all connected,” he pointed out. “Jessie introduced me to Nicky and they both trained for JP.” Reflecting on his career yesterday, he said: “The highlight was Monty’s Pass in the Grand National. Isn’t it the most important and the one known around the world? “Bobs Worth was a great success but he won the Gold Cup the day after JT McNamara’s fall [which left him paralysed] at Cheltenham and it was not a joyous occasion. It was tinged with sadness.” Geraghty had his share of injuries and spent 18 months of the past five years on the sidelines, having broken both legs and both arms. “It’s a decision that has grown on me,” he said. “I was well down the back nine. I was going to call it a day at Cheltenham but there was still a chance of Aintree going ahead and I didn’t want to miss that. “Then I had time to reflect on it, had a little U-turn before coming back to my original decision. I’m very comfortable with it. It would be hard to improve upon this year’s Cheltenham and I’ve had a great time for great people.” He plans to dabble with young stock but does not intend to “press hard on the throttle” for a while. “There’s not going to be a major adjustment on what I’ve being doing as a sideline,” he said. “We’ve got three kids so there’s plenty going on and I’ll get to do some of the normal things in life which a jockey can’t do.” There will be speculation about who will take over from Geraghty in the green-and-gold silks of McManus, a position he held for five years after taking over from McCoy. But Mark Walsh was already riding most of McManus’s horses in Ireland last season. I dare say that will not change, while Aidan Coleman, who often filled in for Geraghty when he was injured, looks favourite to ride a few more of his British-based horses. Charlie Brooks getting a horse into a relaxed, energy-saving rhythm. They have an innate feel for how fast a horse can gallop up to its optimum cruising speed. But, as the winner proved, if a horse that genuinely stays a mile and a half does not race near its maximum cruising speed in the Derby, it will not have the acceleration a quarter of a mile from the winning post to win. The Derby also highlighted the dangers of trainers pinning jockeys down to tactical instructions. Any trainer of a runner in the Derby this year who told their jockey to sit mid-division and then make a move turning into the straight will have unwittingly contributed to “the biggest cock-up since Mons”. One race or a Classic, I do not even turn the TV on. If the footy is not featuring a top-five clash, it has to give way to another repeat. When racing was the first major sport to reappear on our screens, there was a hope that a new host of fans might wake up to what they had been missing out on all these years. And I am not just talking about Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani here. But given that about 10 million people were not at work during Royal Ascot, I thought it was disappointing that the TV viewing figures were not much bigger. The headline “1.8 million people tune in to watch Hayley Turner win the Sandringham Handicap” was stretching the truth, somewhat. They had, in fact, turned on their tellys to watch a programme called The Sandringham was about 10 minutes late off. is, apparently, a cycling quiz programme hosted by Bradley Walsh. Perhaps Bradley should become the new face of British horse racing, because he appears to have a bigger following than Chamberlin and Cumani. He could cycle between racecourses in his Lycra kit when he has time off from asking questions. Poirot Feast after famine too much of a good thing I I So, let us talk football and racing. For months, we were denied both, and it was horrible. Really awful, in fact. And then, wham, it was fill your boots time. Months’ worth of rations spooned into our mouths as fast as we could eat. To start with, my afternoons and evenings were pretty well wiped out. The lawn was not getting mown and the chickens were having to muck themselves out as I tucked into the bacchanalian sporting feast. But, if I am honest, I am not really enjoying it as much as I did in the old days when “nurse” gave it to me in digestible portions. So now, if there is not a Group s the expression “too much of a good thing” an oxymoron? You may roll your eyes, as my eight-yearold daughter did, when I asked her, but in the context of sport, it is a serious question. And one that I spent a good deal of time during the lockdown contemplating. Would, for instance, the allure of gooseberries washed down with Lynch Bages wane if there was a big bowl of them on the kitchen table for breakfast every morning? (Answer at the end, if you get there.) must have been asked a dozen times by infrequent armchair punters whether the Derby was fixed. It was not. But it was a very strange race. How often do the first three to the top of the hill above Tattenham Corner finish in that order? What was evident as the field turned into the straight was that the “peloton” had given the horses on the front end too much rope. But I would suggest that had English King broken better from the stalls, Frankie Dettori would have been in a better position to ride a more proactive race. The best jockeys have a knack of Answer: I am now properly hooked on gooseberries, and they are not cheap either (our own crop failed this year due to me over pruning them). If the gooseberry season was any longer, I would have to pretend that the state of our joint bank account was down to my loo paper stockpile. As for the Lynch Bages, that was firmly vetoed by my daughter, who told me “it wasn’t happening”. The Chase. The Chase
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