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Robbie Power was emotional at Punchestown on Friday evening after racing his final race as a jockey in the Champion Hurdle.
He had a victory to show from his final week of racing, after winning Thursday's Handicap Chase atop Magic Daze. The Champion Hurdle on Friday was to be his last race as a jockey - and winner Rachael Blackmore dedicated the race to Power.
The 2007 Grand National winner spoke after the Champion Hurdle, and was in emotional form.
Robbie Power: Irish jockey bows out at Punchestown
Ahead of Friday's action at Punchestown, Robbie Power revealed to RTÉ that he would retire from racing after the Champion Hurdle. He revealed that injuries had forced his hand to a degree, and that it was taking its toll on him and his wife Hannah:
It's been torture the last couple of months with the hip pain. There's been so many people that have helped me along the way to get me though and Hannah has been very understanding because I've been fairly grumpy at times.
Nonetheless, he was proud of his career's achievements, and said he would struggle to pick out a highlight. A Grand National, Gold Cups from Cheltenham and Punchestown, and an Irish Grand National are among the wins that Power has claimed over his career.
After Friday's race, Power spoke once more, and was in emotional form - even after he was drenched.
An emotional Robbie Power speak to Kevin O'Ryan - in between attempted soakings - about his sparkling career after bowing out in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle 👏@paddypower @Robbie_Power_ pic.twitter.com/bB16kHwa2j
— Punchestown (@punchestownrace) April 29, 2022
It's been a fantastic career. I've enjoyed it every step of the way.
[The reception from the crowd] was fantastic. I didn't get a reception like that when I won here! Just unbelievable. I've had a fantastic career and I've enjoyed every minute of it. No regrets.
Power also said that he had particularly special memories from Punchestown, having had plenty of good days there during his career. It was fitting, then, that his career came to an end there. He said that the highlight of his career came at Punchestown, when he won atop Sizing John in the 2017 Gold Cup.
Tributes came from trainer Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. De Bromhead said Power was a "great horseman, a brilliant rider", while Blackmore, who won the Champion Hurdle on Friday, said immediately after the race:
I was joking with him saying 'there'll be no fairytales tomorrow!' It's fantastic to see him. I hope he gets as big of a cheer walking back in as we get. He's been some man to have, and we'll all be sad to see him go.
Rachael Blackmore pays tribute to Honeysuckle - and the retiring Robbie Power. pic.twitter.com/Jx1VSOXZJQ
— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) April 29, 2022
The fact Blackmore spoke of her respect for Power before her own race win speaks volumes of the esteem he is held in. He will be missed in the world of Irish horse racing.