07 September 2021

Geraghty and Johnson primed for Leger Legends duty

07 September 2021

Barry Geraghty admits it will be a strange experience taking part in the Mondialiste Leger Legends Classified Stakes at Doncaster on Wednesday.

One of the sport’s greatest ever jump jockeys, and twice champion in Ireland, he has had little experience on the Flat.

The 41-year-old, who won the 2003 Grand National aboard Monty’s Pass and rode 43 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, teams up with Lambourn trainer Charlie Hills aboard Mumtaaz.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s great. His form is good. He had a good run at Windsor last time, so hopefully he can go well,” said Geraghty, who retired from the saddle in July 2020.

I've been riding out all summer so I've been keeping in reasonable shape

“A mile out of stalls will be very different. It will be a strange one, but I had plenty of winners at Doncaster.

“I’ve been riding out all summer so I’ve been keeping in reasonable shape.”

Among Geraghty’s rivals is four-time UK champion Richard Johnson, who will be aboard Greek Kodiac for Michael Bell.

Johnson, 44, only gave up race-riding in April after a long and highly-successful career. He won two Cheltenham Gold Cups, the Champion Hurdle and Queen Mother Champion Chase and rode more winners over jumps than any other jockey bar Sir Anthony McCoy – who won the Legends race in 2015.

“It will be the fastest I’ve been in five months, that is for sure. It’s fantastic to be involved and amazing to do something for the Injured Jockeys Fund. Anything we can do to help is not a problem,” he told Sky Sports Racing

Richard Johnson rides Greek Kodiac in the Legends race (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)

“Hopefully, we’ll have fun and I’d love to win as well.

“He’s won a couple of races this year and apparently he likes a straight mile, which I presume is a good thing.

“I’ve had a few rides on the Flat, but only very limited experience so I’m hoping within reason I can go in a straight line and hopefully be quicker than the rest.

“I’ve not raced from out of the stalls for a few years, but it’s going to be great. Barry’s coming over from Ireland and the likes of Noel Fehily and Robert Winston off the Flat. Just a really good bunch and I’m sure it will be a bit of fun as well as being competitive.”

The race was first run in 2010 and has so far raised more than £1million for Jack Berry House and the Northern Racing College.

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