Barry Geraghty celebrated his first winner back from injury when Time Flies By made a successful debut in Cheltenham’s Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
The former Irish Champion jockey returned from the sidelines only this month, after breaking his right leg in a fall from the Peter Fahey-trained Peregrine Run in the Topham Chase at Aintree in April.
He was always going well on Nicky Henderson’s debutant, and the 13-2 shot picked up well to defeat favourite Butte Montana by a length and three-quarters.
Geraghty said: “It is always great to get a winner here – (and) it was for all the right connections, the boss (owner JP McManus), the former boss (Henderson) and I suppose at the place we love more than anywhere.”
There were inevitably plenty of frustrating times during his enforced five-month absence.
He added: “Punchestown wasn’t easy viewing – seeing the likes of Buveur D’Air and Unowhatimeanharry winning, because I’d love to be on them.
“That would test anyone’s character – you want to see them winning, but it is great to be back.”
Time Flies By has a long way to go to reach the heights of many of McManus’ leading lights, but the Gold Cup-winning rider believes the youngster he has a bright future.
Geraghty added: “For a four-year-old, he is very forward. It was a good, solid performance – and (he’s) a fellow that I would say will improve with racing.”
Henderson was only too pleased to see the man with whom he has shared a number of Grade One victories back among the winners.
He said: “It is in the right colours in the right place, and I’d like to think it was for the right trainer. It is great for him to be back.
“That is more important than everything. It is terrific for him.”
As for future plans for Time Flies By, a switch to hurdles is on the agenda.
Henderson added: “We were schooling him the other day, and he was a bit green in behind horses, so we switched plans and said ‘Go on, give him a bumper run’.
“He was green and needed education before he went jumping – otherwise the whole thing would have been too much in one go.
“He will go straight to hurdles, because he is a fantastic jumper. He was up at AP’s (McCoy) last year – and they taught him how to jump.”