Geraghty set to miss entire festival after injury setback
Cheltenham heroes Douvan and Don Poli spearhead Willie Mullins’ assault on the Punchestown Festival, but Barry Geraghty could miss the entire five-day gala.
Although Geraghty has been sidelined since fracturing his shin bone in a fall at Downpatrick on March 22, he had hoped to be passed fit for today's Boylesports Champion Chase card.
"At the moment it’s (the leg) is still not fully weight-bearing,” Geraghty confirmed. "There’s a small chance I could be back at the end of the week, but it’s only a small chance."
Geraghty’s fellow two-time title-holder Davy Russell makes his comeback after fracturing a bone in his arm at Gowran Park a day before Geraghty’s injury.
Russell partners Mallowney in the €200,000 feature, and a win for the partnership would be a potential antidote to the champion trainer’s Mullins’ expected dominance. Mallowney is trained in Moyne near Thurles by small-scale handler Tim Doyle.
"He has been in good form and is showing plenty of sparkle, so we’re hoping for the best," Doyle said of the 6/1 shot.
Visitors to the Kildare venue, which officials hope will attract a record crowd of 110,000, are in for a treat tomorrow, with Djakadam and Road To Riches, second and third in the Gold Cup, poised to cross swords with the scintillating Aintree winner Don Cossack in the Bibby Financial Services Gold Cup.
Jessica Harrington enjoyed a victory before racing even begins after her appeal against the €1,000 fine she was handed by the Tipperary stewards on April 17 was successful.
The 42-day ban dished out to the JP McManus-owned High Tail It after he was deemed to have not been ridden on his merits was quashed, while High Tail It’s jockey Mark Bolger had his seven-day suspension cut to four days.