Barry Geraghty anticipates stern test for returning Hargam

Barry Geraghty does not think the returning Hargam faces an easy task in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham today.

Barry Geraghty anticipates stern test for returning Hargam

The Nicky Henderson-trained four-year-old was right up there with the best juvenile hurdlers last season but, unfortunately for him, he was only third best from his own yard come Triumph Hurdle day.

Henderson was lucky enough to saddle the first three home and the rain that arrived was all against the grey as he had to give best to Peace And Co and Top Notch.

Hargam was sent off an odds-on favourite to make amends at Aintree but could finish only sixth of 10 runners.

“I schooled him a few weeks ago and he went well, I’d say he’s improved a little over the summer,” Geraghty said.

“But it’s a competitive race and he has to give a few pounds to a few of his rivals, he’s not exactly thrown in looking at the conditions.

“It looks a good one, I’d say it would be a tidy race.”

One place behind Hargam in the Triumph Hurdle was John Ferguson’s Devilment and he turned the tables when second at Aintree.

While Ferguson has been mopping up over the summer and currently leads the race to be champion trainer, he feels his winter horses will likely improve for a run.

“He’s got horses like Hargam to beat, but he’s ready to run and I’m looking forward seeing him out again,” said Ferguson. “He’ll take his chance, he’s very well.”

Neil King’s Lil Rockerfeller ended last season with wins in valuable handicaps at Ascot and Sandown, shooting up the weights as a result.

He was last seen out when finishing second on the Flat at Salisbury in May.

“He has summered really well and has been working nicely, so we are looking forward to getting him out,” said King.

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