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Wizard can get better, says Barry


Jockey Barry Geraghty. Picture: David Davies/PA

Jockey Barry Geraghty. Picture: David Davies/PA

Jockey Barry Geraghty. Picture: David Davies/PA

BARRY GERAGHTY believes a different West Wizard will turn up next time out after his surprise defeat at Kempton yesterday.

Nicky Henderson's inmate was already favourite for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle on the back of an impressive win in a bumper last season.

Sent off the long odds-on favourite, he could not keep up with Mick Channon's Sgt Reckless in the home straight, but Geraghty believes he will improve enormously for the run.

"Everything was going nicely I suppose until about three out," Geraghty said.

"The winner is a very good horse and had some very good bumper form. We just got on the stretch from the third last and he just gave a good, big blow.

"He's a horse who finds life very easy at home. You can put him with the best in the yard and it's hard to get him out of third gear, never mind fourth, as he finds it so easy.

"He's a horse who doesn't have a hard time at home and he probably just left himself a bit short, so I'd imagine you'd see a massive improvement the next day.

"From what he does at home to what he showed at Kempton, I don't think yesterday is going to change our opinion of him."

Geraghty will hope for better luck when he partners At Fishers Cross in the bet365 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

The Rebecca Curtis-trained six-year-old was a brilliant winner of Grade One prizes at Cheltenham and Aintree in the spring, but his comeback was delayed after he missed an intended run at Wetherby at the start of the month with a cut leg.



At Fishers Cross is now ready for his return, but he will have a new jockey as regular partner Tony McCoy instead heads to Newcastle to ride My Tent Or Yours in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

At Fishers Cross and My Tent Or Yours carry the colours of leading owner JP McManus, whose racing manager, Frank Berry, said: "Barry will ride At Fishers Cross as AP (McCoy) is going to Newcastle.

"As far as I know, both horses are in good form."

Curtis added: "He's definitely running on Saturday, all being well, and he's in really good form.

"We're looking forward to getting him started again."