Five of the best Barry Geraghty winners after he retires aged 40

Legendary jockey Barry Geraghty's name will be missing from the racecard at Cheltenham this year after he announced his retirement at the age of 40.

The Festival's leading rider with 43 winners called it a day at a special gathering for friends and family in his native Ireland over the weekend.

Geraghty said he knew it would be his last Cheltenham in March and had hoped to sign off at the end of the season, but it was cut short in the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the years, his 1,920 winners included two Cheltenham Gold Cups and the 2003 Grand National on Monty's Pass.

He was JP McManus' number one rider and celebrated 121 successes at Grade One level.

Geraghty's first triumph came in January 1997 and after more than 10,715 rides, his last win was on Saint Roi in the 2020 County Hurdle.

Five of the best horses Barry Geraghty rode in his stellar career:

Moscow Flyer

Geraghty took the reins on the chasing great in all but two of his starts over obstacles.

Exceptionally talented, he won 26 races from 44 outings, including two renewals of the Champion Chase.

On his day, Moscow Flyer was hard to beat and his 2004 Tingle Creek victory over top rivals Azertyuiop and Well Chief is still regarded as one of National Hunt racing's best.

But for the odd jumping blemish, which saw him part company with Geraghty on five occasions, his amazing race record would be better still.

Kicking King

In the 2004/05 season, the top duo completed the King George and Gold Cup double.

The following season, Tom Taaffe's star won the Boxing Day showpiece again, when it was transferred from Kempton to Sandown.

Geraghty rode Kicking King in 26 of his 28 races, which won connections more than £800,000 in prize money.

The chaser now spends his days at the Irish National Stud with fellow retired heroes Hurricane Fly, Beef Or Salmon, Hardy Eustace and Rite Of Passage.

Iris's Gift

In one of the great Cheltenham Festival battles, Iris's Gift halted Baracouda's hat-trick bid in the 2004 Stayers' Hurdle.

The French raider had beaten the then novice 12 months earlier, but this time it was the turn of Jonjo O'Neill's grey to take the limelight.

Iris's Gift and Geraghty also won at Aintree in consecutive years.

Sprinter Sacre

A jumps legend like his rider, the 'black aeroplane' completed the rare treble of Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown wins in 2013.

Geraghty partnered the fans' favourite to the successes in just six weeks, but after that his career was stalled by a heart problem.

Nicky Henderson and vets managed to get him back to full health and in the 2015/16 season, much to the delight of the crowd, he won his second Champion Chase.

Buveur D'Air

Slick and low at his hurdles, Buveur D'Air was often able to manoeuvre himself and Geraghty into a challenging position in their races.

The rider was in the saddle for his second and hard fought Champion Hurdle triumph in 2018, with just a neck to spare over the Willie Mullins-trained Melon.

They teamed up for four other Grade One wins too, but their last outing in November 2019 unfortunately did not go to plan.

Buveur D'Air picked up an freak foot injury which has kept him on the sidelines ever since.

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