Racing Round-Up: Belardo back to his best, Geraghty handed 30-day ban
As we dovetail between the start of the Flat season and culmination of the Jumps campaign there were plenty of talking points from both codes over the past weekend.
One major talking point is the 30-day ban handed out to jockey Barry Geraghty, a decision that rules him out of the Punchestown Festival at the end of the month.
Elsewhere, the Flat curtain-raiser at Doncaster saw Godolphin’s Secret Brief take the Lincoln with William Buick onboard as well as another notable success for the operation.
Belardo bounces back on Town Moor
Having endured a difficult three-year-old campaign it looks like 2014’s champion juvenile Belardo could finally be about to put his troubles behind him.
Roger Varian’s charge stormed to a two-and-a-quarter length victory in the Doncaster Mile on Saturday and in doing so fully justified his short odds of 8/13.
Once jockey James Doyle had found the appropriate gap and hit the switch there was no stopping the son of Lope De Vega.
And having secured a first win in eight starts his trainer is now making concrete future plans.
Varian told the Racing Post: “His work has been excellent at home, we targeted this race a long while ago and I am delighted. I need to talk to the owners but I would like to take him to Sandown for the Sandown Mile.”
Create A Dream will go for the Craven, new Derby favourite anointed
American trainer Wesley Ward pulled the much-hyped filly Create A Dream at late notice after witnessing the deteriorating conditions at Doncaster.
But despite having seen his Brocklesby bid foiled by bad ground the affable saddler is already plotting his next move.
Newmarket’s Craven meeting will be the setting for the unraced two-year-old’s debut, just to add even more intrigue to the three-day event.
Elsewhere on the Flat, Aidan O’Brien’s US Army Ranger is now the 10/1 joint-favourite for the Investec Derby following his debut success in a 1m2f maiden at the Curragh.
It was a facile victory for a horse sired by 2001 Derby winner Galileo and out of 2005 Irish Oaks winner Moonstone and one that will have the staff at Ballydoyle purring ahead of the Epsom Classic.
Angry Geraghty will miss Punchestown but not the National
It’s a punishment that’s angered JP McManus’ top rider and a number of racing fans.
Geraghty has been handed a 30-day suspension, having been adjudged to have made insufficient effort onboard Noble Emperor at Limerick yesterday.
Meanwhile, the horse has been given a 60-day ban while trainer Tony Martin received a €3,000 fine.
Ultimately, it means that the Irishman will miss his home festival at Punchestown unless he can lodge a successful appeal.
However, he is still eligible to ride in this weekend’s Grand National with last year’s fifth, Shutthefrontdoor, his chosen mount.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained nine-year-old is currently a 20/1 shot for glory at Aintree.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.