Injured Barry Geraghty ruled out of Cheltenham Festival

Barry Geraghty will miss the Cheltenham Festival due to injuries sustained in a fall from Charli Parcs at Kempton on Saturday.

The jockey revealed on Sunday evening to the At The Races website that his injuries include six broken ribs, and has now accepted that returning in time for next month's Festival is an impossible dream.

"I've a collapsed lung and six broken ribs on my right side. I'm obviously devastated to miss the Festival - there were so many good horses to look forward to as JP's (McManus) team all look in particularly good shape this year," he said.

"Last night was pretty rough. I've broken ribs individually before but never had six go all at the same time. I'll be in hospital for a few more days but once the lung improves my recovery should be straightforward and I expect to be back for Aintree."

The news will also come as a major blow to Charli Parcs' trainer Henderson, who had earlier in the day expressed his optimism that Geraghty would return.

The had a host of big rides to look forward to at the Festival - where he has 34 career winners to his name - and could have opted to ride ante-post favourite Buveur D'Air for Henderson and McManus in the Champion Hurdle on the opening afternoon, March 14, or Yanworth for Alan King in the same colours.

Henderson, meanwhile, had news of Charli Parcs, who went into the Adonis as a leading contender for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Triumph Hurdle at the Festival, but had been under pressure before seemingly coming back into it, only to fall two out.

He said: "He is fine. He won't go to Newbury on Friday, we do these things (make entries) if they get loose at the start.

"To be honest, I need to talk to Barry. It didn't look like things were going very clever, but Noel (Fehily) said first time he rode him at Kempton he was a bit the same. As soon as he saw daylight off he went when he came off that bend.

"He picked up again having been five or six lengths down and came into the second-last like a bullet.

"We will talk to JP and discuss plans but it's (Cheltenham) is still very possible." 

Here is a selection of the rides Geraghty will miss:

BUVEUR D'AIR (Champion Hurdle)

The Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old has made headlines this year in switching back to hurdles after starting off the season over fences. Proved his class over the smaller obstacles when only Altior and Min were too good in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last year, and won at Aintree. Reported to have schooled brilliantly recently.

YANWORTH (Champion Hurdle)

Geraghty was going to face the agonising choice of whether to ride Buveur D'Air or Yanworth in the Champion Hurdle, and what a choice it would have been. Trained by Alan King, Yanworth was second to Yorkhill at the Festival 12 months ago and has shown he has what it takes at two miles this season, winning the Christmas Hurdle and Kingwell Hurdle. Did not impress everyone at Wincanton, but stamina will not be lacking up the famous hill when push comes to shove.

DEFI DU SEUIL (Triumph Hurdle)

The Philip Hobbs-trained gelding is the hot favourite for the Triumph Hurdle following a perfect season to date that has seen him win five times, including on three occasions at Cheltenham. Was also a wide-margin winner of the Grade One Finale Hurdle at Chepstow.

UXIZANDRE (Ryanair Chase)

Famed for being the last Festival winner for the great AP McCoy when claiming the Ryanair Chase in 2015, the King-trained chestnut returned for his first start since then when running an absolute screamer to be second to Un De Sceaux in the Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham last month. If he can be produced at something like his best, there must be every chance of a repeat Ryanair success.


The horse that ended the winning run of Annie Power in the 2014 World (Stayers') Hurdle, not a tremendous amount has gone right since but he was in the process of running a huge race in the Irish Gold Cup recently, before unseating Mark Walsh at the last. It is anybody's guess if he can put in that sort of effort once more, but no doubt he loves Cheltenham and it is unquestionably an open year for the blue riband.

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