Geraghty wants King George hat-trick

Barry Geraghty believes the King George VI Chase will once again give a good indication as to who will win the Cheltenham Gold Cup as he prepares to saddle 11/2 shot Riverside Theatre on Boxing Day.

The Irish jockey is looking for his third win at Kempton in the annual festive bumper having partnered Kicking King to victory in 2004 and 2005.

Geraghty will hope last year’s Ryanair Chase winner Riverside Theatre will be able to do the business for him this time around, the eight-year-old having finished runner-up to stablemate Long Run last year.

Former Gold Cup winner Long Run is the 2/1 favourite to defend his title in what are likely to be testing conditions following the recent wet weather.

Riverside Theatre has thrilled the crowds since his debut in 2008 but looks to have a mountain to climb if he is to go one better on Boxing Day this time around.

Despite pulling up in his last appearance in April, Geraghty is hopeful of recording another victory at Kempton.

“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.

The 33-year-old went on to say that whoever passes the post first in the King George VI Chase will have to be considered favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, despite the two races having a few differences.

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.”

Ahead of the King George VI Chase Bobs Worth is the 9/2 favourite to win the Betfred Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March.

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