Gold Cup and Grand National-winning jockey Robbie Power has announced he will retire from the saddle after riding Teahupoo in Friday’s Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
Power, 40, has enjoyed huge success in both Ireland and the UK in his 21 years in the saddle, riding Jessica Harrington’s Sizing John to Gold Cup success in 2017.
In 2007, he linked up with then 29-year-old trainer Gordon Elliott to win the Grand National at Aintree on Silver Birch.
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Having returned from a lengthy absence with a back injury in January 2021 he was then out between October last year and January 2022 when he fractured his hip.
Winners have been hard to come by since his return – but he almost went out in style when finishing second in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Minella Indo.
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Power jumps the last on Magic Daze to win the Pigsback.com Handicap Chase at Punchestown
Power, who thanked Harrington for being his biggest supporter throughout his career, has also enjoyed multiples successes with Elliott and had a short spell in the UK with Colin Tizzard.
Speaking after riding Magic Daze to victory at the Punchestown Festival on Thursday, Power said: “It’s down to the injuries. I had my back operated on last summer, got back in October and then I fractured my hip. I’m 41 next month and I’m not getting any younger. I had injections in my hip but it didn’t really work.
“The whole family are coming tomorrow and I’ve got a couple of good rides left. My wife knew and my agent knew, but my father always told me if you tell one person you’ve told one person too many so I was trying to keep it as quiet as possible.
Jockey Robbie Power kisses the Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy after his winning ride on Sizing John
“There’s been several days I’ve woke up thinking this was it. If I’d won the Gold Cup I’d have gone then, but Punchestown has been lucky for me so to go here, where I rode my first winner and now I’m guaranteed to ride my last one here, that will do.
“It’s a relief to announce it, as even this morning my agent was asking me if I was sure. I wanted to go out on something of a high but I have to do exercises every morning just to enable me to ride.
Silver Birch wins the 2007 Grand National at Aintree under Robbie Power
“I’ve been doing it 21 years and if someone said I’d ride the winners I have I’d have taken it. To ride for Jessica Harrington basically my whole career, I’ve been very lucky. She took me under her wing and nearly all my big winners were for her.
“She stood by me through all the highs and lows and has been an unbelievable mentor to me.”