Barry Geraghty's blog

Barry looks forward to the big finale of 2018/19 at Sandown on Saturday.

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I had the latest check-up on my leg last Wednesday and thankfully everyone was very happy with it. I have to go back next Wednesday for what promises to be the last check-up for a good while.

There is a possibility they might have to make one last very slight adjustment to the external frame, but they might not need to. After that, it’ll just be a case of letting nature do its thing and giving the healing process the time it needs.

The British National Hunt season comes to a close at Sandown on Saturday and they stage a very interesting card. The star turn is obvious ALTIOR in the bet365 Celebration Chase (3.00).

From a spectacle point of view, it’s a pity that Cyrname wasn’t declared. That is a clash that there is a lot of hunger to see and hopefully we’ll get to see it next season. I’d be in Altior’s camp for sure, but I’m sure it would be a very exciting race.

While Altior looks to be left with a straightforward task tomorrow, one thing I’d say is that there doesn’t look to be anything to make the running for him, so Altior might end up having to do his own donkey work.

Don’t forget, he jumped markedly out to his left when making the running going right-handed at Ascot back in January. Hopefully he won’t do that again here, but it is something to be aware of.

The bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (3.35) is just as competitive as you’d expect, but it might not be the strongest renewal of it we’ve ever seen. The one I am siding with is the Philip Hobbs-trained ROCK THE KASBAH.

He finished second in this race last year and has looked better than ever this season. He didn’t really take to the big fences in the Grand National last time and was brought down at the 18th fence. We know he enjoys this course and distance and I’d be hopeful that he can bounce back to form and go well.

DEFINITLY RED is a horse that never seems to get the credit he deserves, but I think he might be able to grab the limelight in the bet365 Oaksey Chase (2.25).

His connections trained him for the Cheltenham Gold Cup all season long only for him to get brought down at the 10th fence, which was miserable luck. These conditions should suit him fine and I could see him stamping his class on this field.

The last race that caught my eye is the bet365 Select Hurdle (4.10) and I thought this was particularly tricky. Almost by a process of elimination I have ended up with ON THE BLIND SIDE.

He has always looked a very good horse and while his novice chase campaign ended on a low note in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, I could see him getting very competitive back over hurdles here.

Barry Geraghty's blog
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