Jockey George Auckram (circled) riding Very Moral into third place at a recent Ballina race meeting.
Jockey George Auckram (circled) riding Very Moral into third place at a recent Ballina race meeting.

Jockeys aim for correct weight

WHEN you tuck into your Christmas lunch tomorrow spare a thought for the region’s jockeys.

Maintaining a weight around 56kg is tough at the best of times – cabbage soup is often a staple – but when the Christmas ham comes out the gig gets even tougher.

There are 11 Boxing Day race meetings in NSW alone, including the massively popular Ballina Boxing Day meeting, which means the majority of hoops will have to forego the traditional family feast.

Ballina jockey George Auckram is one of the unlucky ones.

At a constant battle to stay at riding weight, and booked to ride at his home track on Boxing Day, Auckram can’t even bear to watch his family tuck-in to the turkey and Christmas cake.

“I will probably put on the sweat gear and go for a run to the beach while everyone is eating,” Auckram said.

“It sort of ruins Christmas a bit, but if I sit there and watch I’ll just end up in a bad mood.”

The rigours of racing and wasting will hit home even harder when the tops fly of a few cold beers later in the afternoon.

“I don’t mind a beer, but not on Christmas day,” he said.

“I can’t put any fluid into my body the day before I ride because it just won’t come off me again.”

Gold Coast Jockey Kevin Forrester knows that the game is tough, but the 48-year-old has developed his own eating patterns which allow him to enjoy food in small portions.

Decades of discipline have shrunk Forrester’s stomach and he is looking forward to several servings on Christmas day.

“I am a big believer in eating four or five times a day, but in small helpings,” Forrester said.

“If you graze all day you are just topping up and your stomach stays small, but if you eat a lot at once your stomach grows larger.

“If you eat small, your stomach stays small.”



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