Irish jockey Powers home for first NZ win

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  • July 07, 2023
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Irish jockey Jack Power is off the mark in New Zealand after recording his first win aboard Taika in the Best Forsyth Electrial Maiden Hurdle (2500m) at Hastings on Saturday.

“It was brilliant. He was always doing enough. He jumped and he travelled well,” Power said.

“I rode him two weeks ago at Te Rapa and he finished a game second. That was his first run for the Nelson stable.

“He did just enough to get to the line. It was easy for him.”

Power was delighted to get his first win for his employers Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal, who he has joined for the New Zealand jumps season.

With a thirst to see the world, Power was initially intent on heading to America for a working holiday, however, that plan soon changed when he saw a job posting on Facebook that would take him to the other side of the world.

“I was thinking of going over to America, just to see the world,” he said.

“It is the off season in the UK at the moment for point-to-point. I saw an advertisement on Facebook that Paul and Corrina were looking for someone, so I sent a message.

“Paul and Corrina have been great. It is like home away from home. It was raining for two weeks, so there is not much difference that way.

“I have my partner here as well. We came over together just to see a bit of the world. It is going well so far.”

While the weather has made it homely for Power, he said the racing has taken a little to adjust to.

“In Ireland and England, we wouldn’t jump out of the stalls, so that was a bit of a shock to the system,” he said.

“The fences and hurdles are a little bit different, but it is grand.”

Power has always been intent on a career in the saddle, with his interest piqued through his grandmother and the deeds of his jockey uncle.

“I come from Stradbally in Waterford, Ireland,” he said.

“My mother and father have no interest in horses, they wouldn’t even watch me on the tele. My Nanny used to have horses, so that is how I got into it.

“I went the normal route in getting into horse racing. I was hunting around on ponies and showjumping.

“When I got old enough, I started riding out for local trainers around home. My uncle was a jockey, so I got thrown up on horses before I even knew it.

“They (family) follow me a bit, my mother always looks out to see if I had a fall, and my Nanny always says a pray.”

Power has tasted plenty of success in his adopted country of England, having moved there following the pandemic.

“I had one ride in Ireland and then COVID hit, so I headed to the UK, and I have been there for nearly three years now,” he said.

“I have ridden 16 winners – 15 point-to-point and one on the track.”

Power is enjoying his time in New Zealand and said his main aim is to get through the season in full health.

“I am just trying to stay in one piece and stay injury free, and ride as many winners as I can,” he said.

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