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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 24 November 2020
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Gold Cup-winning jockey reveals special goggles were key to success on Sizing John

Robbie Power has suffered with double vision since fracturing an eye socket in a fall last July.

Robbie Power can't hide his delight after guiding Sizing John to Gold Cup glory.
Robbie Power can't hide his delight after guiding Sizing John to Gold Cup glory.
Image: Mike Egerton

ROBBIE POWER WOULD have been unable to ride Sizing John to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory last Friday but for the special goggles which help him to overcome double vision, he has told ‘The Guardian’.

The 35-year-old Meath man — who rode three winners at jumps racing’s showpiece event last week, all trained by Jessica Harrington — suffered a fractured left eye socket and a fractured cheekbone in a fall in a hurdle race last July.

It left the 2007 Grand National-winning rider with double vision but such was his desperation to continue his career he eventually tracked down an opthalmologist in Dublin, Ian Flitcroft, who solved his problem.

“I wear specially-treated goggles to correct the double vision,” said Power, who could still encounter problems if the track is muddy as his rivals have several pairs whereas he would be obliged to just wear the one pair and have to wipe the mud from the goggles.

“It doesn’t affect me in everyday life. I can still drive and everything else is fine. It’s only a problem when you’re on a horse, looking out of the top of your eyeball.”

Power, who has one eye wide open (his left eye) and the other almost closed although it is the former that is damaged, said Flitcroft had dealt with other sports people before with similar problems.

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“Ian Flitcroft came up with the idea. He said I was the first jockey he’s worked with but he’s worked with swimmers and snooker players before.

“I’d say the muscles on the floor of the eye bed have gone. It would probably take surgery to fix them and I’ve been told that surgery is an option,” added Power.

- © AFP, 2017

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