Robbie Power on the Galway Festival
Robbie Power caught up with BoyleSports horse racing betting ahead of the Galway Festival (starts on Monday)
Robbie Power: “You’ve not been racing if you haven’t been to Galway, it’s the pinnacle of summer.”
To win the Galway Hurdle or the Galway Plate was probably one of my first big successes that kick-started my career. They’re both unique races to win and it’s very, very difficult to win both of them. I don’t think even Barry Geraghty has won a Galway Plate before.
It’s a bit like Cheltenham in the sense that you can have a bad season and a couple of winners at Cheltenham and it’d be considered a good season.
If you get a couple of winners at Galway then all of a sudden you’re having a great summer. Galway has more of a party atmosphere than Cheltenham and with crowds coming back after so long away, it’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere this year.
Robbie Power: “If I could ride any horse at the Galway Festival, it’d be Santa Rossa – she’ll run a big race.”
If I had a free hand to ride any horse in the Galway Hurdle, it’d be Santa Rossa. I’ve won aboard her before and she has good stamina and good pace. She ticks a lot of boxes for Galway and I can see her running a big race.
Galway Festival is ‘party week’ for all involved
You’d always have a great time in Galway but then breathalysers came in and your lifestyle had to change so for the last ten years of my career I stayed outside of Galway to save temptation – I used to drive in and out [of Galway] every day instead of staying there all week.
It’s more unique now than when I started because nowadays it’s usually either one or the other and the Flat and Jump jockeys will be sharing a weighing room which is totally different to ten years ago.
There’s always great banter between both sets of jockey’s and it’s unique now because mixed cards are normally a thing of the past. It gives Irish racing the edge as it’s an opportunity to get Jumps and Flat punters all at the same meeting.
Dermot Weld was successful at Galway for a number of years, but I don’t think he has the same strength in depth as he used to five or six years ago. Whereas Willie Mullins has been leading trainer there for the last couple of years and has a huge team so I think Willie Mullins is most likely to be leading trainer again.
Winning the Galway Hurdle in 2019 gave me one of the best feelings of my life
Winning the Hurdle or Plate are two of the biggest races you can win in Ireland and they give you huge satisfaction.
Of course I’m going to enjoy it a lot more and there’s no better city to enjoy than Galway. There are so many spots during raceweek to enjoy. I can enjoy the restaurants and also Monroe’s pub in Galway is a big racing pub so there’ll be a great atmosphere in there as well. I’ll definitely be there a couple of evenings during the week.
The Galway atmosphere is one of the best in racing and it’s on par with Cheltenham
Galway is a festival where a smaller team can have a big day. When you come back in on a fancied horse at Galway, the reception you get when walking from the parade ring to the winners’ enclosure is as good as anywhere – it’s unbelievable.
It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere. We had it at Cheltenham with the return of the crowds, the Dublin Racing Festival and Galway will be no different, if not even bigger because the crowds will be massive and it’ll be a huge atmosphere.
Billy Lee and Shane Foley will lead the way on the Flat, while I expect Jack Kennedy to dominate over fences
On the flat, probably Billy Lee or Shane Foley and then on the jumps, Jack Kennedy has had a fantastic start to the season and Gordon Elliott will have a lot of runners so I’d say Jack would be a good bet over jumps.
Many thanks to Boylesports for the content.