Jockey Robbie Power reflects on the season of his life

Robbie Power has enjoyed his best ever season as a jockey – with the aid of special goggles

Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning and Irish Grand National-winning jockey Robbie Power has reflected on the season on his life, and believes there is no substitute for experience.

It was nothing short of a remarkable season for the 35-year-old, claiming a historic feat on Sizing John.

The Jessica Harrington-trained horse became the first horse to complete the historic treble in the same year – Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February, Cheltenham Gold Cup in March and Punchestown Gold Cup in April.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s The Ray D’Arcy Show, Power was asked if it was the season of his life.

"Definitely," he said.

"There’s no substitute for experience.

"I’ve been race riding for 16 years and there’s been plenty of ups and downs. You’ve got to learn to taken them and learn from the mistakes you have made."

The Cheltenham success was especially sweet for the jockey based in Summerhill, Meath.

"It was fantastic, and very special for me. I’ve been with Jessie [Harrington] for 16 years and to win the Gold Cup for her was fantastic.

"He’s just a very good horse and he did something I don’t think will ever be equalled."

He was the leading jockey at Aintree and the leading jockey at Punchestown and explained to Ray how he rode his first ever winner for Jessica at Punchestown, his mother’s horse, Younevertoldme in 2001.

Robbie also won the Aintree Grand National 10 years ago on the Gordon Elliott-trained Silver Birch in 2007.

Robbie told the programme he now wears special goggles to combat the double-vision he suffers from since a kick to the head in a fall last summer.

He was injured at the Galway Festival in July when he was an early faller in a 20-runner race over hurdles and was kicked as a horse passed above him.

The blow broke a cheekbone and caused a complex fracture of his left eye-socket, with additional damage to the muscle on the floor of his eye-bed. While the other symptoms passed, Robbie’s vision did not recover and it appeared that his career in the saddle might be over.

"I wear specially treated goggles to correct the double vision. It doesn’t affect me in everyday life. I can still drive and everything else is fine.

"It’s only a problem when you’re on a horse, looking out of the top of your eyeball."

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