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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Trip home to Swindon must wait for De Giles due to festive racing at Pau

Felix de Giles has three booked rides at Pau on Christmas Day
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There will be no Christmas pudding for Felix de Giles on December 25. It's possible he may get a slice of buche de Noel, although even that is unlikely, for the Francophile English jump jockey will be not resting but working on Christmas Day with three booked rides at Pau.

While Britain and Ireland are racing-free zones on the big day, that isn't the case in the adopted home of De Giles, who will be taking part in a hurdle, chase and cross-country chase at a track where he booted home a winner on Saturday.

"It's not going to be my first time as I rode on Christmas Day in 2015," said De Giles. "Pau and Cagnes-sur-Mer alternate which track races on Christmas Day, so I was racing when it was Pau's turn two years ago.

"Racing on Christmas Day was a bit of a shock to the system but I suppose we're talking about a different culture here.

"From what I remember, Pau had one of its biggest crowds of the year that afternoon and I'm sure plenty of people will turn up again. For the people who'll be riding here it's business as usual."

Emmanuel Clayeux's stable jockey added: "I suppose it's a bit annoying for me as otherwise I might have been able to nip back to Swindon.

"However, I'm definitely not complaining. It's fantastic to be riding in good races that offer good prize-money. I know what it's like not to be doing that. I also have a fantastic boss, so I'll definitely get a bit of chill time as well.

"It's just work for me. If I can ride a winner on Christmas Day it will have been a good Christmas Day."


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Racing on Christmas Day was a bit of a shock to the system

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