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Barry Geraghty bags a hat-trick on Ascot’s six race card

Simonsig ridden by Barry Geraghty clears the last to win the BetFred Novices Steeple Chase race during the Christmas Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. Picture: Phil Cole/PA Wire Simonsig ridden by Barry Geraghty clears the last to win the BetFred Novices Steeple Chase race during the Christmas Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. Picture: Phil Cole/PA Wire

By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent at Ascot
Saturday, December 22, 2012
6:45 AM

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Barry Geraghty won three of the six races at Ascot on Friday, bagging both feature races and completing the hat-trick in the bumper on Nicky Henderson’s debutant Captain Cutter.

The Irishman rode two winners for Henderson after first recording a hugely impressive victory on the Oliver Sherwood trained Puffin Billy in the £30,000, two mile, Grade 2 Mitie Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle.

Geraghty doubled his tally 35 minutes later when he landed the other Group 2 of the day on the Henderson trained Simonsig. The former smart hurdler impressed on his first attempt at the larger obstacles, storming to a 49 length victory in the two mile three furlong Betfred Novices’ Chase where only one other runner completed the course.

“Simonsig settled well enough and jumped nicely,” Geraghty said. “He got the revs up at one or two, but once I got him back he came back every time and the way he jumped the last three, you couldn’t ask for much better.

“I wouldn’t want him to relax any more. He’s a two miler not a three miler. Jamie Moore [on second placed Sulpius] said to me ‘He’s a bit keen’ but I said ‘that’s the way you want this horse’.

“He was never doing anything stupid. I jumped past Jamie and came back and sat on his tail again. He was very good. He has got the right attitude.”

The manner of the victory also delighted his trainer who has yet to confirm a campaign for this season.

“He had to do what he did today,” Henderson said of the winner who has now won six of his seven starts. “This two mile three race is the most fantastic start for a novice. I was pleased and Barry is happy.

“We don’t have to prove anything. Now we just have to map his campaign out.”

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