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Saturday 16 December 2017

Barry Geraghty hopes for return in time for Punchestown

Barry Geraghty
Barry Geraghty

Barry Geraghty expects to find out soon if the Punchestown Festival is a realistic target for his comeback from a broken leg.

Geraghty will miss the Crabbie's Grand National for the first time since 2000 after suffering a hairline fracture of his shin bone in a fall at Downpatrick on Sunday.

Leading rider at the Aintree meeting since 2011, Geraghty also won the National itself in 2003 with Monty's Pass.

While Aintree and Fairyhouse's Irish Grand National meeting are off the agenda, Geraghty hopes to find out from his specialist that Punchestown, which begins on April 28, is achievable.

Writing on his www.attheraces.com blog, Geraghty said: "Well, my luck finally ran out and for the first time in 16 years I won't be lining up for the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree.

"A broken shin bone at Downpatrick on Sunday means that an uninterrupted run of 15 National rides now comes to an end.

"It means that I'll be missing some good rides over the three-day Festival but I've been very lucky because I know well enough that in my job you dodge plenty if bullets and eventually you're going to be hit by one.

"I'll be going to see my specialist, Mr Kenny, on Tuesday morning and I'll be a bit wiser after that as to when I'll get back but I'll stick to his opinion and won't rush things.

"He's very good and will tell me yes or no as to whether the Punchestown Festival is a realistic target."

Special Tiara will try to end his campaign on a high at either Sandown or Punchestown following his fine effort in defeat at Cheltenham.

The eight-year-old made a gallant effort to make all when three lengths third to Dodging Bullets in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and will now bid to go two places better in search of a second Grade One success over fences.

Trainer Henry de Bromhead will look at the Celebration Chase at Sandown and the Boylesports.com Champion Chase at Punchestown as his final calling point of the campaign.

"We're delighted with him. He's in really good form since he came back. All's good, so we can't complain at all," said de Bromhead.

"He'll probably run in the Celebration or the race at Punchestown, one or the other."

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