Barry Geraghty has put an early end to the speculation over which Nicky Henderson trained inmate he will ride in the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, by announcing that he will partner Spirit Son.

The Irishman had the enviable dilemma of choosing between his selected mount and the rapidly improving Sprinter Sacre. Tony McCoy will now come in for the ride on the Geraghty discard and he will be buoyed to hear that Henderson’s stable jockey feels he could easily have made the wrong choice and anyone who is planning to bet on Cheltenham 2011 will no doubt be mulling the comments over.

Geraghty believes that the form of Spirit Son’s latest win at Exeter is so good that he may just have the edge. Both horses are said to have worked really well in their last piece of Cheltenham exercise, which made the choice even more difficult and some punters may still have a sneaking suspicion that he got things wrong. Anyone looking to place Cheltenham 2011 bets should bear this in mind.

If either of the Henderson trained pair are to emerge victorious though they will have to be right on top of their game, if they a to beat Cue Card who has looked every bit as good over hurdles as he was in bumpers last season.

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