‘It’s going to be a struggle’ – Barry Geraghty sounds alarm over huge Cheltenham Festival favourite

LEGENDARY jockey Barry Geraghty has poured cold water on the chances of a big Cheltenham Festival favourite.

Willie Mullins’ Allegorie De Vassy is the market leader for the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase.

PABarry Geraghty has questioned Allegorie De Vassy’s jumping[/caption]

But the classy six-year-old has been far from impressive with her jumping over fences so far.

She was sent off as the 1-8 favourite in a Grade 2 at Thurles last weekend and made several mistakes.

Jockey Paul Townend somehow managed to cling on when she made a terrible blunder at the very first fence, but she kept her feet and went on to win comfortably.

Geraghty, who rode 43 Festival winners during his glittering career, reckons her habit of jumping out to the right will hinder her in a strongly-run race at the Festival.

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He told the Off The Fence podcast: “She is a brilliant mare and does have scope but her technique needs a bit of work.

“Willie mentioned that with the frost they haven’t been able to give her a pop at home so a lot of that will be practice.

“Paul won’t have had a tight hold of her head and he wanted to get her to relax but being so relaxed might have just left her in two minds and she guessed at the first.

“Going out to her right isn’t going to be a help, especially against more experienced opposition.


“Scarlet And Dove has 15 runs over fences so you can imagine her breathing down her neck, applying pressure, and Elimay the same thing.

“It’s going to be a struggle for her out in front and I’m sure they’d be happy to take a lead and ride her like a novice.”

Since her sketchy performance at Thurles, punters have begun siding with the second favourite Impervious.

Colm Murphy’s mare is now challenging her big rival for favouritism and is only marginally behind in the betting at 15-8.

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