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Tony McCoy gives backing to successor Barry Geraghty


Barry Geraghty

Barry Geraghty

Barry Geraghty

Tony McCoy believes Barry Geraghty is the right choice to follow in his footsteps as the number one rider for leading Irish owner JP McManus.

As soon as McCoy announced his intention to retire in February, Geraghty was favourite with the bookmakers to fill the massive void left by the 20-times champion.

And the Ulsterman has given his backing to Geraghty after the announcement was made on Monday.

"You want to give yourselves the best possible chance of winning and having someone like Barry on your side gives you that," McCoy said.

"His record speaks for itself and you don't ride the big winners he's had without being top drawer in every department.

"He's got lots of experience, is good with people and there is a lot of class about him.

"Barry had a very close association with Nicky (Henderson) and I'm sure he would have found it difficult to walk away, but wearing the green and gold colours is the best job in jump racing and one very hard not to be interested in.

"There's nothing else like it."

Geraghty, meanwhile, admitted that accepting the role was not an easy decision.

The 35-year-old revealed the job offered a better balance from a personal point of view as he has a wife and young family.

Geraghty has been riding principally for Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson since 2008 and the pair have won most of the biggest races on the calendar together, including the Gold Cup with Bobs Worth and the Queen Mother Champion Chase with Sprinter Sacre, both in 2013.

However, his new appointment means he will not have to commute from Ireland as often as in the past.

"It's a great job to get. I suppose discussions probably started since Punchestown. I met up with JP last week and we discussed it. It fits in really well," Geraghty said.

"I've had seven years riding for Nicky and it's been brilliant. We've had great success, but there's a lot of travel involved.

"I have a young family and I think it might be a better balance, doing two or three days in England and having more time at home. It suits but it wasn't a decision I could take lightly."

Belfast Telegraph