As far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned, Kicking King is best remembered for his victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2005, during a season in which he also won the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, the King George VI Chase at Kempton and the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup. Ridden by Barry Geraghty, as he was for most of his career, Kicking King was sent off 4/1 favourite for the ‘Blue Riband’ event and justified favouritism in taking style, running on strongly in the closing stages to beat Take A Stand by 5 lengths.
The following season, Kicking King won the King George VI Chase – transferred to Sandown during the redevelopment of Kempton – for the second year running, but sustained a tendon injury.
He wasn’t seen in public again until January, 2008, and ran just five times, without success, before being retired from racing in October that year.
Owned by Conor Clarkson and trained by Tom Taaffe, Kicking King made his first appearance at the Cheltenham Festival in 2003, finishing second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Switched to fences at the start of the 2003/04 season, he filled the same placing behind Well Chief in the Arkle Challenge Trophy at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival. All told, he won 12 of his 28 races and over £818,000 in prize money.