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Off The Fence: Allegory De Vassy could struggle at Cheltenham if jump errors continue, says Barry Geraghty

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Barry Geraghty believes Mares’ Chase favorite could go haywire at the Cheltenham Festival if she doesn’t brush up on her jumping technique.

The six-year-old again proved far too good for her rivals in a second-class rookie hunt at Thurles last weekend, but not without a major scare at the first fence when she leaped out to her right and almost knocked jockey Paul Townend off the trial.

The Willie Mullins-trained mare would win easily despite some sluggish jumps, with some bookmakers cutting her to 5/4 for the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham.

But Geraghty wasn’t nearly as confident with the performance, feeling her technique needs to improve if she’s to justify her short price tag.

“She’s a brilliant mare and has potential, but her technique needs a bit of work,” said Geraghty Off The Fence Podcast.

“Willie mentioned they couldn’t give her pop at home because of the frost, so a lot of that will be exercise.

“Paul will not have had a firm grip on her head and wanted to get her to relax, but being so relaxed might just have left her in two minds, and she guessed it first.

“Going to the right won’t help, especially against more experienced opponents.

“Scarlet And Dove has 15 runs over fences, so you can imagine her breathing down her throat, applying pressure, and Elimay doing the same.

“It will be a battle for them at the front and I’m sure they would be happy to take the lead and ride them like a beginner.”

Speaking at The Races, Tony Keenan agreed with Geraghty, adding that tough pursuers in Scarlet And Dove and defending champion Elimay will put pressure on Allegorie De Vassy, ​​especially when jump errors creep into their effort.

“Your jumping would be a pretty big concern,” he said. “She was completely under pressure at the top, which certainly won’t be the case at Cheltenham.

“She’s going to be up against two solid 150 fillies from Ireland anyway in Impervious and Scarlet And Dove and I’m pretty sure they’re up to that brand.

“She maybe has more brilliance than her, she was really strong on the line on Sunday and has loads of ability.

“But her jumping is suspect and all four of her starts have been right handed and she tended to do that in France too so it’s going to be an interesting race.

“I think it’s a decent race and worth having.”

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