Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Robbie Power won't race in UK so he can be with family amid Covid surge – but hopes to return

TOP jockey Robbie Power has returned to Ireland to be with his family amid a COVID-19 surge in the UK.

Power moved to Britain full-time at the beginning of this season due to the ongoing tight travel restrictions.

But with cases rising and travel restrictions again tightening, Power has made the big call to pack up and return home for the time-being.

The 39-year-old Gold Cup-winner was formerly with top Irish handler Jessica Harrington.

He announced on Twitter: "Due to the increased number of covid 19 cases in Ireland and the UK and the uncertainty over travel restrictions I have decided to stay in Ireland with my family until restrictions ease.

"I’ve been in quarantine since the 1st of January and look forward to getting back riding on both sides of the Irish Sea as soon as restrictions allow."

Power had teamed up formerly with the Colin Tizzard stable this season.

But with the yard's form struggling and the likes of Lostintranslation and The Big Breakaway failing to fire on the big stage, Power has struggled for the number of winners he would have aimed for.

Power was operating at a 14% strike rate – his lowest since starting to ride regularly in Britain.

It's not clear if Power will return to the Tizzard team before the Cheltenham Festival.

The Somerset team will likely return to using the likes of Harry Cobden and Jonjo O'Neill Jr more regularly.

Brendan Powell will take the big ride on Christmas In April in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.

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