Barry Geraghty opts to ride Spirit Son

Barry Geraghty has opted to ride Spirit Son, rather than stablemate Sprinter Sacre, in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.

Both of Nicky Henderson’s horses have been impressive winners this season and Geraghty admits it was a difficult decision. Now that he has sided with Spirit Son, Tony McCoy comes in for the ride on Sprinter Sacre.

“This is something that I’ve been trying to get my head around for three weeks,” Geraghty told At The Races. “Both horses worked last Saturday and each went really well which didn’t make things any easier. I just had to go away and think it through. I watched endless re-runs of all their races and went through all their form. They are both exceptional talents and they could hardly have been more impressive on their latest outings, but in the final analysis Spirit Son’s form just weighs in that bit stronger.

“It’s very hard to evaluate a horse winning on the bridle as Sprinter Sacre has done so I could very easily have got this wrong – he does everything so very easy. But when you break down Spirit Son’s latest win at Exeter it matches up with the best. He beat Cedre Bleu by 21 lengths at Exeter and that horse had previously gone to Newbury and beaten our useful juvenile Titan De Sarti by 10 lengths and he’s right up there in the betting for the Fred Winter. AP has certainly landed himself a top-class spare ride on Sprinter Sacre but it’s not just about us two, there is that little matter of last year’s Champion Bumper winner, Cue Card!”


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