Geraghty hit with 30-day ban over 'Noble' ride
Barry Geraghty is poised to miss the Punchestown Festival after being hit with a 30-day ban for his ride on Tony Martin's beaten JP McManus-owned favourite Noble Emperor at Limerick yesterday.
Geraghty, who succeeded AP McCoy as McManus's retained rider, was beaten 11 lengths on Noble Emperor by the Barry Cash-ridden Velocity Boy. Cash assumed a clear and uncontested lead from the start in the two-mile handicap hurdle on the 2/1 shot.
When Velocity Boy turned for home, he still had a yawning advantage over his rivals, and it was only on the run to the second-last flight that Geraghty began to get after Noble Emperor.
The stewards on duty took a dim view of the eventual runner-up's showing.
As well as banning Geraghty (pictured right after hearing the news) from April 17 for "failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to win or obtain the best possible place", they ordered him to forfeit his riding fee.
Martin, who expressed himself happy with the ride and stated that a pulled shoe had no detrimental effect on Noble Emperor's performance, was fined €3,000.
The horse was suspended from running for 60 days.
Geraghty, who told the inquiry that he was unable to chase Velocity Boy earlier "as he was riding strictly to instructions" on a horse that needs to be "delivered late", declined to comment but admitted to being shocked at the findings. An appeal against the decision is thought to be likely.
All the other beaten riders were also invited in to explain why Velocity Boy had been allowed dictate at his leisure and their explanations were noted.