National Hunt Horse Racing Betting Tips From Gold Cup Winning Jockey
The National Hunt season is upon us in the horse racing calendar and here we have tips and predictions from Gold Cup winner Robbie Power!
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Is National Hunt Racing as strong as it’s ever been? Is the sport’s long-term future healthy?
I definitely think that the future of the sport is looking healthy. We’ve got some very good owners in National Hunt racing in Ireland and the best horses are staying in Ireland at the moment.
The prize money is exceptional and these weekends of competitive racing make it even more enticing for owners to travel over and watch their horses run over one weekend rather than being spread out over multiple weekends.
Is it an emotional feeling Robbie given the start of the National Hunt season is upon us and you will not be riding this year?
My emotions are obviously different because I’m not riding anymore but I’ve taken up a role with Henry de Bromhead assisting in the operation so that’s given me a huge interest and I still feel competitive doing it.
I love the National Hunt season and I still look forward to it with great excitement. Okay, I won’t be riding but plotting campaigns for Henry’s horses gives me a great interest.
Do you feel the dominance of Irish-trained horses will continue this year, particularly in terms of looking ahead to the Cheltenham Festival?
I don’t see the Irish-trained dominance continuing forever but I certainly do for the next few seasons and that’s down to a combination of things.
Irish owners and trainers have been winning in the sales ring and the saying is that if you win in the sales ring, you’ll win on the track.
Bringing all this competitive racing together will make it even more enticing for English owners to train their horses in Ireland because the prize money is so unbelievable and it’ll be easier for English owners to commute to Ireland and watch their horses over one weekend.
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This National Hunt season, is there one track in Ireland away from a Leopardstown/Punchestown that racing fans should visit?
People need to visit Navan racecourse without a shadow of a doubt. Really knowledgable racing people go to Navan, the racing there is fantastic and for me it’s the best test for a horse ahead of Cheltenham.
It’s a fair track and if you haven’t been to Navan racecourse then you haven’t been to racing.
What is your favourite track to visit in Britain?
I loved going to Exeter racecourse. It’s a fair, big galloping track and a great track to start a novice chaser on. Of the lesser tracks it’s definitely one of the best in England.
Can you give us five horses to follow this term?
When you look at last seasons novices, Constitution Hill will be very interesting going forward over hurdles and hopefully at Cheltenham in March he’ll clash with Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle and that’ll be one of the best heavyweight clashes we’ve seen in a long time.
You’ve also got the question of whether Galopin Des Champs will step up to be a Gold Cup horse. If he progresses from what we’ve seen as a novice chaser it could be hugely exciting to see him step up to three miles and face the likes of A Plus Tard. It makes for a fascinating season ahead.
Robcour have a really strong team going into the winter and I think a horse that could develop into a nice chaser is Journey With Me.
He was really impressive when winning his maiden hurdle and hopefully he can develop into a nice middle distance chaser.
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Similarly, is there a jockey and trainer to follow this season?
Obviously you’ve got the big combinations in Ireland and I think Jack Kennedy has taken on a more predominant role riding for Gordon Elliott and he’s had a fantastic summer.
I think it’s a given that Paul Townend is going to be champion jockey with Willie Mullins but Jack has actually built up quite a useful lead.
If he can stay injury free then it would be no surprise to me if Jack is top jockey and nobody deserves it more because he’s been plagued with injury over the last few seasons so I’d love to see him have a clear run this year.
Can Bob Olinger develop into a Gold Cup horse?
I think Bob Olinger can. He needs to put his two disappointing runs behind him but he’s only been beaten once over fences. He’s got bundles of class and he could very easily make a huge progression.
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