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Geraghty is left stunned by ban

By Nick Robson

Barry Geraghty - who rides Shutthefrontdoor in Saturday's Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree - is almost certain to appeal after being left shocked by a 30-day ban from the Limerick stewards

The ban is due to begin on April 17. A clearly shocked and angry Geraghty chose not to be quoted. He is almost certain to appeal.

Geraghty was hit by the punishment for his ride on Noble Emperor in the Book Online At Handicap Hurdle, ruling him out of the Punchestown Festival at the end of the month.

All the jockeys bar Barry Cash, who rode the winner Velocity Boy, were invited in by the officials to explain why they allowed the eventual victor so much of a lead, one which proved unassailable.

Geraghty on the Tony Martin-trained runner finished strongly in second, but was still beaten 11 lengths. Despite the JP McManus-owned Noble Emperor losing a shoe he was found to be post-race normal.

Acting under Rule 212, which governs running and riding, the stewards were of the opinion Geraghty had failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing, banning him for 30 days, with the horse prevented from running for 60 days and Martin fined 3,000 euros.

The report from the stewards said Martin had stated his instructions were "to get some cover and try switch him off, bearing in mind that the horse can be keen".

He added the horse "has disappointed in the past but should have enjoyed today's heavy conditions over two miles, despite having form over further".

He expressed satisfaction with the ride and that the lost shoe had no bearing.

It added Geraghty had confirmed the instructions adding that the horse "needs to be covered up and delivered late" and that the winner "quickly established a good lead at the start and circumstance meant that he was unable to chase the leader until the straight as he was riding strictly to instructions".

He confirmed the horse felt healthy at all stages.

Belfast Telegraph


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