Geraghty suffers leg break as 'Tiger' sets eyes on Red Rum
Barry Geraghty will miss today's Aintree Grand National (5.15) ride on Anibale Fly, with the Meath jockey facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after breaking his leg in two place at the Liverpool track yesterday.
Geraghty - the retained rider for JP McManus - appeared to be kicked by another runner after a fall from Peregrine Run in the Topham Chase. The 39-year-old was taken to hospital - missing a winner on Nicky Henderson's Champ in the Grade One Sefton Novices' Hurdle - before confirming his misfortune last night.
"It's bad news...it has been confirmed that I have broken both my tibia and fibula just above my right ankle," he said. "I haven't seen a replay of the fall yet, but by the sounds of it, it might have been a kick off a horse that ran over the top of me after the fall that did the damage."
Geraghty, a National winner aboard Monty's Pass in 2003, is expected to be replaced by Mark Walsh on Tony Martin's Gold Cup runner-up Anibale Fly, out and is likely to be out for ten to 12 weeks.
Mark Enright was also taken to hospital after a nasty fall from Call It Magic in a messy affair, but the Limerick jockey was last night cleared to ride Gordon Elliott's Noble Endeavor.
Elliott and Tiger Roll are chasing history in the world's greatest steeplechase, with the Meath trainer believing that back-to-back victories would surpass the achievements of three-time winner Red Rum.
The loveable nine-year-old secured his fourth Cheltenham Festival success with consummate ease and Elliott hopes he can become the first back-to-back National winner since the legendary Red Rum (1973-'74) under Davy Russell.
"If he did it again I think he'd go down as one of the greats. The one worry I'd have is the 39 other horses. The best horse doesn't always win the Grand National - that's the brilliant story to it," Elliott said on the eve of the €1.2 million showpiece.
"If he wins two Grand Nationals back-to-back, he'll probably have done more than Red Rum did. He's won a four-mile chase, a Triumph Hurdle and two cross-country races. If he did he'd be a horse that would never be forgotten."
The Cullentra handler saddles a record 11 runners as he bids to land the big prize for the third time with Irish trainers accounting for 19 of the 40-strong field. It is estimated that up to 25,000 bets will be placed per minute in the two hours before the 'people's race' with bookmakers seeing up to €400m wagered across the UK and Ireland.