By the time the 2021 Grand National roles around, Barry Geraghty, at 41-years-old, will be one of the older jockeys riding in the race. But age brings vast experience and Geraghty’s career has been outstanding.
Since his first win back in 1997, he has notched up 38 Cheltenham wins and they include the Champion Hurdle 2020 riding Epatante, a record equalling fourth in the Champion Hurdle. So he is on top form going into the Grand National 2021.
Barry Geraghty has already been lucky enough to experience what it’s like to win a Grand National. He achieved this much-coveted feat winning on Monty’s Pass in 2003. He ran a great race and was always in contention from the outset. But he ran so strongly that he could afford to take his mind off the winning post long enough to look over his shoulder on the run-in before winning by 12 lengths, ahead of Supreme Glory and Amberleigh House.
This was part of an incredible winning streak for Geraghty who only three weeks earlier had been the winning jockey at the Cheltenham Festival with five wins. In between the two meetings he had also come fifth in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter which might not sound fantastic until you realize that his saddle had slipped and he rode bareback over the last three fences!
And then, the day before the 2003 National, he won the £46,000 Martell Cognac Sefton Novices Hurdle on Iris’s Gift, trained by Jonjo O’Neill. A pretty impressive week by any jockey’s standards and a year that Barry would never forget. He even was named Irish Sports Personality Of The Year.
Geraghty Grand National History
The Geraghty family have been involved with horse racing for generations, his father being the renowned horse dealer ‘Tucker’ Geraghty and his brothers Ross and Norman are also jockeys. Geraghty was apprenticed to Noel Meade at Castletown, in his home town of Meath, at the age of 17, and rode his first winner, Stagalier, at Down Royal. It took only three years for him to become the Irish Champion Jump Jockey for the first time.
His first Grand National appearance was in 2000 on Call it a Day. However, the horse was not on good form and he went off at odds of 50-1. Geraghty’s great friend and rival Ruby Walsh rode Papillon, a 10-1 chance and went on to win the race with Geraghty finishing a respectable sixth.
He won in 2003 and rode Monty’s Pass again in 2004 but came in 4th and again in 2005 finishing 16th. Under Martin Pipe, he rode Puntal in 2006 and finished 6th, came 3rd in 2007 on Slim Pickings, 4th in 2008 on the same horse. In 2009 he partnered with Golden Flight but fell at the first fence!
Then in 2012 after great success again at Cheltenham, he finished 9th on Shakalakaboomboom. The following two years after that, Barry did not finish the race and could not ride in 2015 due to sustaining an injury.
But in 2016 Barry Geraghty became the number one rider for owner JP McManus. In the Grand National that year on Shutthefrontdoor, Barry finished a respectable 9th. He pulled up the following year on More of That. Then in 2018, Barry Geraghty came close to winning the Grand National again. He rode Anibale Fly for trainer Tony Martin and placed fourth, behind the winner Tiger Roll.
Grand National 2021
Overall he has had quite an astounding record at the Grand National so 2021 shouldn’t be any different. With the race still quite a long way off, there’s no way of knowing which of JP McManus’s horses will be in contention. However, with Geraghty getting the first pick, whichever runner he does choose will no doubt go off on short odds.
Paddy Power are currently offering ante-post odds on the potential runners for the Grand National 2021 but realistically we won’t know who is entered until January 2021.