Barry Geraghty gave the long-time ante-post fancy Sire Du Berlais (4/1f) the ride of the Cheltenham Festival so far in getting the seven-year-old up on the line to beat Tobefair (40/1) by a neck in the Grade 3 £100,000 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle, with Jessica Harrington’s Not Many Left (16/1) a further length a quarter back in third.
The win, the second part of a Geraghty-JP McManus 19/1 double following the victory of Defi Du Seuil in the JLT Novices’ Chase, brought the Irish rider’s Festival tally to 38.
Commenting on the win of Sire Du Berlais, Geraghty admitted:
“I thought I was in trouble coming away from three out – it got tight for room – but he rallied and rallied. It was a good battle and a game performance. I was never confident, but I was hoping to get Mark Walsh (Not Many Left) on my outside, and then when I got him I saw another one (Tobefair) coming on my inside, so then I was just hoping for the line. There was a lot of hoping.”
The winning trainer, Gordon Elliott, for whom it was a 25th Festival success and third in 2019, said:
“Going to the last, I thought that we were beat. Barry gave him a great ride because he got stopped a couple of times at the top of the hill. He was short of room up there but Barry didn’t panic. The plan was not to get there too soon and Barry delivered brilliantly.”
2.10pm Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
1 Sire Du Berlais (J P McManus) Gordon Elliott IRE 7-11-09 Barry Geraghty 4/1f
2 Tobefair (Down The Quay Club) Debra Hamer 9-11-00 Tom Bellamy 40/1
3 Not Many Left (Robcour) Jessica Harrington IRE 6-11-05 Mark Walsh 16/1
4 Cuneo (Gigginstown House Stud) Henry de Bromhead IRE 7-11-01 Rachael Blackmore 12/1
Distances: nk, 1¼, 2
Time: 5m 52.98s