Special goggles behind Gold Cup winning jockey Power's comeback

AFP

London (AFP) - Robbie Power would have been unable to ride Sizing John to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory last Friday but for a special type of goggles which allows him to overcome double vision, he told The Guardian.

The 35-year-old Irishman -- 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 while he would be obliged to just wear the one pair and have to wipe 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 over similar problems.

"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, who said he wasn't minded to undergo the surgery.

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