'I couldn't do the weight!' |...

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'I couldn't do the weight!' | Robbie Power talks jockeys refusing rides

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

05:25 10 Apr 2020


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Robbie Power has opened up on having to turn down rides over the course of his career as he wasn't able to get down to the trainer's preferred weight.

The 38-year-old joined Ger Gilroy and Johnny Ward on Friday Night Racing this week, and the issue of weight came up.

Power, whose race wins include the Aintree Grand National, the Irish Grand National, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, advised young jockeys to avoid using saunas for weight-cutting.

He also spoke candidly about the reality of life for a jockey - when you set yourself a bottom weight you will inevitably have to turn down plenty of ride offers.

"Yeah, there are times when I've been asked to do below ten stone three and I couldn't do the weight. I won a Mares' Handicap Hurdle [at] the first running of the Dublin Racing Festival on a mare of Jessie's [Harrington].

"She had ten stone one and Jessie said do ten three on her and she'll be fine, and she won. I've set the ball now - ten stone three is my weight and that's the way it's been for the last... definitely eight years anyway.

"I always was of the mentality that if I've gone through this much torture to lose this much weight, I'm not doing it for nothing.

"A lot of jockeys have that mentality as well. One, they think they're doing it because it's worth their while, and it's only for a short period of time.

"I don't think I ever got beaten on a horse because I was dehydrated or wrecked from wasting, I don't think that ever happened to me. But I think, because I raised my [bottom] weight by a couple of pounds I think my body has felt the benefit of it in the long-term."

Power said that most trainers are very understanding of a jockey turning down a ride for those reasons.

"Most trainers accept when you tell them you can't do a weight. Once they don't see you doing that weight a week later because you fancied the horse a week later but didn't fancy their horse!

"I think when you set yourself a weight, that's it and you don't go below it for any circumstances. I missed a winner last year at the Dublin Racing Festival on Whisperinthebreeze - he was a hundred grand handicap and needed ten stone one, and Jessie [Harrington] wanted him to carry ten stone one so Paddy Kennedy rode him.

"I sat it out, but that's the way it is. You can't do the weight so don't take the ride is the old saying."

Friday Night Racing is brought to you with Horse Racing Ireland. #EveryRacingMoment


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#EveryRacingMoment Friday Night Racing Ger Gilroy HRI Racing Johnny Ward Off The Ball Racing Robbie Power

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