Top Irish National Hunt jockey Barry Geraghty, 40, announced his retirement from the saddle over the weekend, having ridden 1,920 winners – 121 of those were at the highest level of jump racing, including 43 at the Cheltenham Festival. He has been associated with many brilliant horses including Moscow Flyer, Bobs Worth, Kicking King and Sprinter Sacre. He has no immediate plans but is hopeful to expand into the bloodstock and media industries. For now, he is enjoying family time in Ireland with his wife Paula and their three children, Siofra, Orla and Rian. H&H takes a look back at some of Barry’s finest moments...
A flying duo
Barry rode his first Cheltenham Festival winner aboard the Jessica Harrington-trained Moscow Flyer in the 2002 Arkle Trophy. He went on to have a successful partnership with the gelding, also winning the 2003 and 2005 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The Aintree history books
The Irishman claimed jump racing’s blue riband steeplechase when steering Monty’s Pass (above, right) to Grand National victory in 2003. The 16/1 chance was trained by Irish handler Jimmy Mangan and won impressively by 12 lengths.
Gold Cup glory
The jockey spent 12 years riding for leading National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson, commuting backwards and forwards from Ireland to the Seven Barrows yard in Lambourn. During the duo’s success, Barry rode Bobs Worth (pictured) to many race wins including the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup. It was a particularly sentimental win for the jockey because he had purchased Bobs Worth as a yearling in 2006, before selling him for a small profit two years later — their Gold Cup success together would come five years later.
Barry’s first win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup came in 2005 on the Tom Taaffe-trained Kicking King.
Sprinting into the limelight
The popular chaser Sprinter Sacre also provided Barry with many happy days while he was riding for Nicky Henderson, including victories in the 2012 Arkle Trophy, the 2013 Queen Mother Champion Chase, the 2012 Tingle Creek, the 2013 Melling Chase at Aintree and the Punchestown Champion Chase in the same season.
Success in green and gold
In 2015, Barry quit riding as the number one jockey for Nicky, with whom he had “a great relationship”, and replaced AP McCoy – when he retired – as the retained rider for top owner and fellow Irishman JP McManus. The transition also meant Barry could spend more time at home in Ireland with his family. In the famous green and gold silks, he went on to enjoy further high-level success, including on Buveur D’Air (pictured) in the 2018 Champion Hurdle.
At the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, Barry notched five wins for JP, including a record-equalling fourth Champion Hurdle when winning on the Nicky Henderson-trained Epatante.
A windy day
Barry walks the course at Uttoxeter with the late Terry Biddlecombe and fellow jockey Mick Fitzgerald. On this day, the meeting was eventually called off due to high winds.
Barry and his wife, Paula, celebrate with their young family after his success on the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Shutthefrontdoor in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in 2014.
Ruby Walsh has a pre-race chat with his friend and weighing room colleague during the Galway Festival in Ireland.
Pausing for thought
Barry enjoys a moment to himself in the weighing room ahead of racing at Cheltenham.
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