Taaffe pays tribute to Geraghty following retirement news

Trainer and rider won the Gold Cup with Kicking King.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Tom Taaffe has hailed Barry Geraghty “a top man and a top rider” following the leading jockey’s retirement from the saddle.

Taaffe and Geraghty combined to land steeplechasing’s blue riband event with the great Kicking King in 2005, a horse Geraghty rode throughout his 26-race career over jumps.

The same combination also landed back-to-back renewals of the King George VI Chase, as well as the Punchestown Gold Cup and the John Durkan Memorial Chase on home soil.

Geraghty rode another Festival winner for Taaffe and Kicking King’s owner Conor Clarkson, with Finger Onthe Pulse landing the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase of 2008.

Taaffe said: “We had some great days together – life-changing days for us both, I suppose.

“The Gold Cup was obviously the culmination of it all for Kicking King. The whole lead-up to the race was exceptional and it all came together on the day.

“Barry is a top man and a top rider and a man for the big day.

“I’m delighted he’s managed to retire in one piece. That’s one career over and he’ll start from scratch again now and move on with the next stage of his life – I wish him the very best.”

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