Wednesday 17 January 2018

Injured Geraghty targeting Galway return

Geraghty was also forced out of Cheltenham after suffering lung and rib injuries in a fall at Kempton in February. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Geraghty was also forced out of Cheltenham after suffering lung and rib injuries in a fall at Kempton in February. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Barry Geraghty could return for the Galway Festival at the end of the month.

An injury-ravaged season was compounded when he broke an arm in a fall from Minella Foru in the Irish Grand National in April, which led to him missing the Punchestown Festival.

Geraghty was also forced out of Cheltenham after suffering lung and rib injuries in a fall at Kempton in February.

Happily, Geraghty is making good progress and has earmarked the seven-day Galway Festival, which starts on July 31, as a likely comeback date.

Meanwhile, Aidan O'Brien was out of luck with his big-race runners at Belmont on Saturday night.

The Ballydoyle handler, who landed the Belmont Derby 12 months ago with Deauville, sent Homesman and Whitecliffsofdover into battle in this year's renewal.

Homesman came home well to finish third under Irad Ortiz Jr, but never threatened all-the-way winner Oscar Performance, while Whitecliffsofdover back in seventh.

O'Brien was also represented in the Belmont Oaks by Key To My Heart, which trailed home last of 11 runners.

Nearer to home, Rock On Fruity (7/1) picked a good time to open his account over fences when landing the Galway Plate Trial Handicap Chase at Limerick.

The Charles Byrnes-trained eight-year-old - without a victory in 13 previous starts over larger obstacles - was always going well for Mark Enright and a fine jump at the last sealed the deal for the JP McManus gelding.

Davy Russell was in tremendous form, winning the first three races through Gordon Elliott's An Caisteal Nuadh and Knockmaole Boy, and the Byrnes-trained Denham Sound.

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