With everyone doubting him, Barry Geraghty responds like the master he is 1 year ago

With everyone doubting him, Barry Geraghty responds like the master he is

37 not out.

Only Wednesday, many were lumping in on Barry Geraghty. He'd suffered narrow defeats on Champ and on Blue Sari in the bumper and a good deal of horse racing fans were deeming the Meath master past it, even going as far as selecting his replacement.

Oh how they'd jumped the gun.

Ever since his first winner under rules 21 years ago in 1997, the Pelletstown pilot has been one of the most reliable horse men in the game. A genius of timing and an unstoppable machine in a tight finish, there are few riders you'd want aboard ahead of him.

Geraghty is 39 now, but he's still as fit, as hungry and as tactically aware as ever as he proved with a perfectly timed ride aboard the Philip Hobbs trained Defi De Seuil to win the JLT Novices' Chase on Thursday afternoon.

Going around the turn, Lostintranslation looked in command. Robbie 'puppy' Power had the rails and the lead and Geraghty and his 3/1 favourite were up against it.

This is the game he loves.

He crept up on Power's side along the outside, asked for a huge one on the last and the five-year-old gem beneath him responded with a leap from the heavens.

He landed on the run and Geraghty pushed him out to win.

You can't beat class.

Afterwards, he said to ITV that this, his 37th Cheltenham Festival winner was just "as good as the first."

On a week where they were calling for Mark Walsh to replace him as JP McManus' retained rider, this one will have been sweet.