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weekend hope for Geraghty

Jockey Barry Geraghty has earmarked the possibility of having his first ride since March this coming weekend as he looks to get started in his new role as AP McCoy's replacement to JP McManus.

After months of speculation since McCoy announced his retirement, Geraghty was named to be the man to fill the vacancy last week and after a lengthy spell on the sidelines having broke his shin-bone after a fall from Sailors Warn at Downpatrick, the Meath man is hopeful of getting his season underjway at either Bellewstown or Limerick.


Geraghty spent a morning riding out for fellow Meath man Gordon Elliott last week and was planning on doing the same this morning after finding himself in hospital on Tuesday with a kidney stone.

The former champion jockey had attended the wedding of weighroom colleague of Paul Carberry in Adare Manor on Monday but had to be admitted to hospital the following day.

"I came into hospital Tuesday morning as I was in a fair bit of pain and I found out I had a kidney stone," said Geraghty yesterday.

"I had it removed at 10pm Tuesdsy night, but I'm feeling a fair bit better today. I'm hoping I'll be able to ride at the weekend, but I'm going to ride out in the morning and I'll see how I feel then."

National Hunt racing has been on a break since Kilbeggan last Monday week but returns with three jump races on Bellewstown's mixed card later this evening.

Geraghty's new boss has no runners in any of those three races and although JP McManus does have one entry on Wexford's all jump card tomorrow evening it looks more likely that it will be either the final day of Bellewstown's summer meeting on Saturday or Limerick on Sunday before he returns to action.


Meanwhile, regular racegoers to Roscommon and Gowran Park racecourses are expected to enjoy an upgrade to the facilities after Capital Development Grants of over €500,000 have been approved under the Horse Racing Ireland Racecourse Capital Development scheme.

Roscommon are set to spend up to €1million in their redevelopments which will include a new modern Tote building, set to be completed before the start of next season, a complete revamp of the restaurant, a major refurbishment of the current weigh room, jockey facilities and ambulance bay, and the extension of the parade ring.

There will also be substantial car park drainage carried out, a new loading bay for horses and improvements to the bars and toilet facilities.

While Gowran Park are set to spend €435,000 on their improvements where they intend to create a new entrance, a dedicated owners and trainers' lounge, as well as a new children's area and an extension to the ambulance road that goes around the track.