Geraghty’s jockey booking should have impact on Grand National

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Shakalakaboom may be inexperienced for a horse attempting to win the Grand National, but he must certainly now enter considerations at 20/1 given that he is the confirmed ride of Barry Geraghty.

The combination of trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Geraghty recently dominated the Cheltenham Festival, teaming up for five winners.

Another victory was on the radar in the Grand National, but with Henderson potentially having two runners, which Geraghty would choose to ride was unknown.

However, Burton Port was one of five horses scratched at the latest declaration stage, with the other more notable absentees being fellow Cheltenham Gold Cup runner Midnight Chase and Quel Esprit.

Only 48 are now hoping to make the cut for Aintree.

Among these is Shakalakaboomboom, who missed the Festival to ensure he was well rested for the Grand National.

The eight-year-old has experience of the Aintree fences when finishing seventh in the Topham Chase last season and has only improved since.

He has not been out of the first two in his last four starts, with the latest being over hurdles to blow off any potential cobwebs, where he was caught short of speed in the closing stages.

This race was also arguably the case in the Topham over an inadequate trip, with the horse bred for stamina.

Geraghty may have won the Grand National before with Monty’s Pass in 2003, but despite training more Cheltenham Festival winners than anyone, the big success still eludes Henderson.

Second-season chasers have a strong record in the Grand National in recent years and Henderson hinted as early as November that Shakalakaboomboom was the most likely from his yard to tackle the Aintree showpiece, showing how early he has been set out for the race.

The only negatives seem that Shakalakaboomboom has only had 13 chase starts, while he would prefer good ground over soft.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.