Barry Geraghty relishing festive fare

Last Updated: 24/12/12 10:53am

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Geraghty: Looking forward to Kempton

Geraghty: Looking forward to Kempton

Sky Bet

Barry Geraghty would like nothing more for Christmas than to bring up his hat-trick in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton.

The leading jockey has bagged just about every major prize in National Hunt racing during his illustrious riding career and has fond memories of the Boxing Day highlight having partnered Kicking King to win successive renewals in 2004 and 2005.

This year Geraghty again rides thrilling Ryanair scorer Riverside Theatre, second to stable companion Long Run in the rescheduled King George in January of last year.

"I was lucky enough to win it twice on Kicking King and it's a great race. It's the highlight over the Christmas (period), on both sides of the water," Geraghty told BBC Radio 5 Live."

Kicking King won the Cheltenham Gold Cup between his two King George triumphs, legendary five-time King George hero Kauto Star won the Gold Cup twice and Best Mate and Long Run have both won both races in the last decade.

However, Geraghty believes the two prized jewels in steeplechasing are quite different in their nature.

He said: "The King George wouldn't be the test of stamina the Gold Cup is, there is more emphasis on speed.

"This year the ground is going to be soft, so it might be a bit different, but a horse that wins the King George can generally travel well in a Gold Cup and either way it takes a classy horse to win it."

While most of us will be tucking into a lavish turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day, the festivities are rather more low-key for a jockey.

Luckily for Geraghty, he does not suffer too many problems with his weight and he has no intention of starving himself the day before one of the biggest days of the campaign.

"If I have to do a low weight I'll go for a run and have a light dinner I would say. I don't usually miss it," he said.

"There won't be much brandy butter, I'll cut back on the dressing, but I'll definitely have something. I get a bit grumpy without my food!"

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