Barry Geraghty will be fit and raring for action at next week’s Aintree Grand National meeting after he received the all-clear to return to race-riding.
The jockey has been sidelined since February and missed the entire Cheltenham Festival as a result of injuries sustained in a fall from Charli Parcs in the Adonis Hurdle.
He is set to ride either Gordon Elliott’s Causes Of Causes or the Jonjo O’Neill-trained More Of That in the Grand National, while Ruby Walsh appears set to nail his colours to the mast of 16/1 chance Pleasant Company in the big race.
Geraghty has been working up his fitness of late and he now has clearance to go racing at Fairyhouse on Sunday in preparation for Aintree starting on Thursday.
“I got the results of my scan [on Thursday] evening and, thankfully, everything came back clear and I’m good to go,” he told At The Races.
“I knew that I was fine, the lungs and the ribs have responded well. I have been working away around the place at home and I have been riding out. I rode work on Cause Of Causes on Wednesday and I’m off now to school More Of That on Friday morning. Even so, it was still a big relief to get the OK.
“It has been a long week, it has been a long wait, just waiting for the word, but it has been worth the wait.”
Walsh meanwhile has indicated he’ll favour Pleasant Company of the two Willie Mullins-trained contenders.
Twice before a National winner, Walsh feels his mount may be favoured by drying ground on Merseyside and he takes great heart from beating former Irish National winner Thunder And Roses in his previous outing at Fairyhouse.
“Plans are yet to be finalized, but as far as the Randox Health Grand National is concerned I would be leaning towards riding Pleasant Company in favour of Alelchi Inois,” Walsh told Racing UK.
“He’s got 10st 11lb, which means he is the right side of 11 stone. He won the Bobbyjo Chase in good style from Thunder And Roses and the pair were well clear.
“I also like how he is a lightly-raced horse – he has run just 13 times under rules. People are put off by how he has done most of his winning on soft ground, but he is by Presenting and I actually think he might be better on drying ground.”