Christmas is traditionally the one day when even the most health conscious don’t count calories. However, with three race meetings on Boxing Day, most jockeys can’t afford that luxury.
This year a team of food scientists — recruited by bookmakers William Hill — have created a low calorie Christmas dinner that has a mere 294 calories. But before you cancel your turkey order you should be aware there is a downside — it’s in liquid form.
Scientist Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart, who has worked with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal in the past, is behind the foam and gel creation.
The elfy Christmas dinner consists of the following layers: turkey gel, umami-rich gravy, carrot fluid, dehydrated Brussels sprouts, potato infused foam, cranberry “air” and is topped with a pancetta crisp.
It can be served with an espresso-style shot of mince pie extract and a spoonful of powdered brandy butter for an additional 38 calories.
“The usual festive fare for jockeys riding on Boxing Day would be a slither of turkey, a couple of sprouts and a few water biscuits,” said William Hill’s Jon Ivan-Duke.
“Even then they will probably spend a couple of hours on race day in the sauna sweating off those last few pounds.”
Champion jockey AP McCoy, who will be riding at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, said: “This is a great invention for jockeys who are struggling to make weight but still want to feel part of their family’s festive celebrations.
“I always used to feel a bit left out when they all started tucking in to their turkey so this year I am looking forward to enjoying the full flavours of Christmas lunch, without having to worry about the calories.”
Dr Edwards-Stuart described inventing the dish as “challenge”.
“I am used to experimenting with tastes and textures but the brief from William Hill to prepare an appetising meal that features all of the flavours of the traditional Christmas dinner but at a fraction of the calories was a challenge,” she said.
“I created a layered dish full of different flavours and textures that I hope will prove both delicious and visually appealing to our jockeys.”