Geraghty crowned champion jump jockey in US

Ross Geraghty has been crowned champion jump jockey in America in just his third season there.

The rider’s total of just 17 wins may not sound a lot — but in a country where jump racing is limited, it was enough to see him come out on top by three from his nearest rival Darren Nagle as the curtain came down at Springdale racecourse in Camden, South Carolina.

Geraghty, 35, the older brother of top jump jockey Barry, enjoyed his biggest success on The Bunny Boiler in the 2002 Irish Grand National.

“We knew for the last few weeks he was champion jockey-elect because he was a few winners ahead and there weren’t that many meetings left, so we were watching his progress,” said his proud father Tucker, who trains in Meath.

“There’s just a small pocket of jump racing there, but there’s good prize money in it. He has a lovely lifestyle over there in Maryland and it’s a smashing part of the world.

“Things got pretty competitive over here and he was offered a job there three years ago, he took it and has made good progress.

“Initially he was with Tom Voss and had a great time the first year. Then the following year things didn’t work out as well and they parted company.

“He made other contacts in the area and he rides mainly now for Irv Naylor. He’s the leading owner over there and he buys a lot of horses from the UK and Ireland, those just short of top class.

“One is Black Jack Blues who was second to Oscar Whisky in the Welsh Champion Hurdle. Now he’s established, he’s getting lots of outside rides as well.

“They might only have a meeting once a week or every two weeks and there might be a big Flat card with a couple of jump races on it, so there are limited opportunities.

“We’re not sure yet what he’s doing for the winter. He could come home and do some hunting or he might go for a holiday. He stayed over there last winter and did some hunting which he likes.

“He had great success over here. He won the Irish Grand National and won most of the big handicaps, but it’s very competitive here so he gave it a shot in America and it’s worked out well for him.”

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