Barry Geraghty Sporing Insights 06/12/2019

Barry Geraghty: Hoping exuberant Defi can take us on a journey

Sandown Saturday

My first ride at Sandown is Dream Berry in the Pertemps Qualifier (1.20pm).

He’s been off the track for over a year, but had plenty of bits of good form including a second in a Grade 3 at Aintree with me on board.

He also ran well in the Martin Pipe at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival so if he could return to that sort of form, he’d be in the mix, though his most recent form wouldn’t be anything to write home about.

When a horse is coming in off such a long lay-off you can never be sure how they are going to fare, but he has the ability if he’s back to somewhere near his best.

I’m really looking forward to getting back on board Defi Du Seuil in the Tingle Creek (3:00pm).

Philip Hobbs’ horses are absolutely flying at the moment, and the same can hopefully be said for Defi who won well at Cheltenham last time.

He should improve for the run, particularly his jumping which will hopefully be a little slicker as he gave his fences plenty of air last time. If anything, it’s just a bit of over exuberance as his technique is very good and he’s improved a lot since last season.

However, we are now worse off at the weights with Politologue and he’s stepping up in company, so he’ll have to put his best foot forward to see off the likes of him as well as Un De Sceaux, a Tingle Creek and multiple Grade 1 winner. He’s the one we have to beat in my eyes.

Moscow Flyer and Sprinter Sacre were my other winners of the Tingle Creek and Defi isn’t at that level yet, but he was a very good novice last season and he’s started this campaign well.

He’s a horse we’ve always loved and held in very high regard, so we’re hoping he’s going to take us on a journey.

He still has options in terms of trip, as he has won over further, but he certainly doesn’t lack any pace either.

Sunday Punchestown

I’m back in Ireland on Sunday where there’s a good card with the John Durkan the highlight.

I’ve got three rides starting off with Quartz Du Rheu in the opening rated novice hurdle (12.20pm).

He’s been running well since moving to Wille’s [Mullins] yard, but has been coming up short as well and this looks a pretty hot race.

With the likes of Anything Will Do and Tiger Voice in opposition, he’ll have to build on his last couple of runs to be competitive here.

I’m on Anibale Fly in the John Durkan Memorial Chase (1.50pm) and as expected it’s a very strong-looking renewal.

Last year’s winner Min looks the one we all have to beat, but with Presenting Percy, Duc Des Genievres and my ride all in there it promises to be quite a race.

Anibale Fly has run very well in both the Gold Cup and Grand National over the past couple of seasons and you’d imagine they’ll be the end-of-year targets, but there’s plenty of good races before then and Sunday’s race looks a nice starting point for him.

My final ride on Sunday is Roxboro Road in the handicap chase (2.50pm).

He had some solid form in the Spring last year but has struggled a bit so far this year. He slipped-up the last day at Punchestown, but if he could return to the sort of form of last season then he’d have a definite chance.

It’s obviously a very competitive race, but he’s shown he has ability so hopefully he can put his best foot forward on Sunday.

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