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'I'm at that time in my life where it feels like the right call' - National treasure bows out at the top

Having won it all as a jockey, a sensational final Cheltenham meant Barry Geraghty 'couldn’t have ended on a better note'

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Barry Geraghty on Moscow Flyer celebrates winning The Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival. Picture credit; Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

Barry Geraghty on Moscow Flyer celebrates winning The Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival. Picture credit; Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

Barry Geraghty on Moscow Flyer celebrates winning The Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival. Picture credit; Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

IT was once remarked by JP McManus that "there could be a lot more fish in the sea if they kept their mouths shut" and that mantra clearly rubbed off on Barry Geraghty as he sailed off into the sunset without any hint that his glittering career was coming to an end.

Geraghty was interviewed for these pages two weeks ago to promote the official opening of the John Butler Sports Medical Centre in Galway city later this month, and there was no inkling that the 40-year-old was about to hang up his saddle.

If anything, it sounded like the drive was as strong as ever to fly higher than before. Butler, whose work as a physio has seen him treat Geraghty during a host of career-threatening injuries, even spoke to the Meath pilot on Saturday with no mention of walking away before a tweet dropped later that evening.