Barry Geraghty Sporting Insights 07/02/2020
Barry Geraghty’s Sporting Index blog: Champ schooled great ahead of Kelso next week
Champ felt great
I schooled Champ at Nicky Henderson’s on Friday morning and he was in great form. He jumped and felt really well, so I was very happy with him.
He doesn’t seem to be feeling any ill effects of the fall at Cheltenham and all roads lead to Kelso next week. Hopefully we can get things back on track ahead of the Festival in March.
Buveur D’Air back next season
He’s a horse to look forward to and so is Buveur D’Air who is coming along well since getting that injury in the Fighting Fifth.
We won’t see him again this season, but he should be back next season and fingers crossed he’s back to his best.
I’m looking forward to getting back on Chantry House in the novices’ hurdle (1.15pm).
He’s improved each time he’s run so far and he felt sharper at Cheltenham the last day compared to Warwick. He looks great and Nicky is very happy with him, so we’re hoping for another good showing.
The run at Cheltenham was another step in the right direction and with more experience under his belt, he should run another nice race.
He’s a point-to-point winner, so he shouldn’t have any trouble stepping up in trip, but he shows good pace at home as well on the track meaning he has options trip-wise. He’s very similar to Sporting John, who I’ll touch more on later, in that respect.
I ride Never Adapt in the big handicap hurdle (3.35pm) who was a good winner at Kempton last time.
She’s got plenty of ability, but has been very keen on all three starts so far and she’ll need to settle better here.
There looks to be plenty of pace in the race which will help, but when you have to switch them off like that it obviously leaves you with ground to make up which is never ideal.
She went through the race at Kempton nicely and hopefully she’ll improve for the experience, although that was in a smaller field in a less competitive race.
It just depends how she is on the day and if she takes to the occasion. Both of those factors dictate how far you need to drop her in to switch her off which is something we’ll only know on Saturday.
My final ride on Saturday is Getaround for Ella Pickard in the Listed bumper (4.45pm).
I don’t know too much about the horse, but he was very impressive at Chepstow the last day where he won by 12 lengths.
This is obviously a step up in class but hopefully he can produce more of the same.
Sporting John runs in the Listed novices’ hurdle (4.05pm) at Exeter on Sunday and looks to hold a strong chance, but he probably has more on his plate than Chantry House with Master Debonair in opposition.
Like Chantry House, given he has won a point-to-point he has a number of options in terms of trip. He has shown good pace over two miles, but as he’s won over three he should have no problems going up in trip if that’s what we decide to do with him.
He’ll need to step up again here, but we are getting 5lbs off Master Debonair which obviously makes our lives a bit easier. That rival was very good at Ascot the last day and we’ll need to improve again, but Sporting John boasts some pretty solid form and progressed from his first run to his second.
How he shapes on Sunday will dictate our future plans, but alongside Chantry House, they are two exciting novices to look forward to.