Power Adds Gold Cup Win To Grand National Victory

Robbie Power has added the Cheltenham Gold Cup to the list of prestigious races he has won after an epic ride upon Sizing John on Friday, March 17th.

Power had previously won the Grand National upon Silver Birch and insists that his Gold Cup victory rates as highly as that win. After crossing the line first, he told reporters that this was a ride he wasn’t going to miss out on.

He said: “I was only 25 when I won the National and I'm 35 now. When you're 25 you think you can win everything, so this is very special.

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“Going to the second-last, even before Djakadam's mistake, I actually thought I had Ruby covered.

“Down to the last he absolutely pinged it and then it was just a case of seeing it out, it's what every jockey dreams of and I never thought I would until we got this lad.

“I had a bad injury before Christmas and I rushed back to ride him in the Irish Gold Cup. I did everything I could to get back, I wasn't letting Davy Russell on him!”

The 7-1 winner also gave trainer Jessica Harrington her first ever win in the Gold Cup. She is the third woman to achieve this accolade, after Jenny Pitman (Burrough Hill -1984, Garrison Savanagh 1991) and Henrietta Knight (Best Mate – 2002, 04).

Power put much of the success down to the work of the trainer, adding: “Jessica Harrington is a genius.

“I always said when this horse stepped up in trip he'd win. Everyone has done a top-class job, it means more than any winner I've ridden for Jessica.”

Native River came in third at 7-2, while Minella Rocco was a surprise second after staying on well at the finish. The 3-1 favourite Djakadam could only manage fourth, after twice coming second in this race.

Sizing John has now completed the Irish and English Gold Cup double and his jockey, Power, was very grateful to the owners for releasing the horse for both races.

He added: “When he won at Thurles he didn't win until stamina kicked in and that convinced me he'd stay. It's thanks to Alan and Ann for letting us up him in trip and we said we'd come here after winning the Irish Gold Cup.”

Runner-up Minella Rocco is still listed to compete in next month’s National and some bookies have even made him favourite for the race with odds as low as 8/1. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill wasn’t giving too much away regarding his chances in the post-race interviews, though.

He said: “I'm thrilled, he had a great spin round and finished as strongly as anything. He will definitely run again this season, but first, let's get him home and see how he is.

“He is entered in the National, the Irish National, but we will have to see whether he runs in either.”

Picture by: Tim Goode/EMPICS Sport