Barry Geraghty aiming to guide Noble Emperor to success at Naas

Tony Martin-trained runner a stand-out prospect in Grade Three novice chase

Barry Geraghty: is an 8-1 second favorite to be leading rider at Cheltenham next week. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Barry Geraghty: is an 8-1 second favorite to be leading rider at Cheltenham next week. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Barry Geraghty is an 8-1 second favourite for next week’s leading rider title at Cheltenham but no one can accuse him of plotting a ‘kid-glove’ route to the festival and Noble Emperor should provide the jockey with a winning Grade Three boost at Naas tomorrow.

Geraghty’s Cheltenham festival tally of 31 winners is second only to Ruby Walsh (41) and both men are at Sandown today where Walsh teams up with Wicklow Brave for Willie Mullins in the Imperial Cup.

Walsh sits out Sunday though whereas Geraghty, whose prime book of Cheltenham rides is headed by Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase, will be at Naas for three more rides with Noble Emperor a stand-out prospect in the novice chase.

Noble Emperor is one of two rides Geraghty has for JP McManus on the card and it will be intriguing to see how the jockey gets the high-class but impetuous giant seven year old to settle.

The Tony Martin-trained runner appeared to ruin his chance in the three mile Ten Up Chase at Navan last month by doing far too much through the race and came up less than five lengths short of Very Wood.

Not surprisingly he wears a hood although he plugged on gamely in the closing stages at Navan. He’s dropped half a mile here and with Mark Walsh on the injury sidelines the McManus team have opted to give Geraghty a first spin on the horse.

He is also on board Henry Higgins in the Listed novice hurdle and victory for this one would be a boost for Douvan in Tuesday’s Supreme, having finished fourth to that one at Gowran last November. Noble Emperor’s stable companion Golantilla could be tough to beat however.

Mares bumper

Bryan CooperWhistle Dixie

Davy Russell will be in action in Naas’s €50,000 feature, the Woodlands Park Leinster National, on Owega Star. Peter Fahey looks a longer-term contender for the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday but is due a good pot having finished runner-up in the Troytown in November and fifth to Living Next Door in the Paddy Power over Christmas.

Living Next Door tops the weights tomorrow and at the bottom of the ratings, the course and distance winner Miss Xian is not out of it either despite being 6lbs out of the handicap proper. Owega Star could appreciate slightly better ground more.

Prince de Beauchene can successfully warm up for a possible Grand National attempt in Gowran’s Tetratema Cup today.

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