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Brendan Powell Q&A: ‘My mum always says I look like Brad Pitt! Although she’s definitely biased’

| 09.02.2024

Cheltenham Festival winning rider Brendan Powell has taken part in a Q&A with Coral, answering questions from his fans.

Brendan Powell Q&A

If you could ride any horse past or present, who would you want to ride and in what race? Horse Racing Fans

I’m sure this will surprise a few people with me being a jump jockey, but I absolutely loved Sea The Stars when I was growing up. I loved watching him win all those big races, so I’d choose him, and I think I’d have to ride him in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

If you weren’t a jockey, what would you be doing for a living? OwnersGroup

This is a tough question because I’m not sure what else I could do to be honest. I love golf, so if I was a good enough, I’d have loved to have been a professional golfer on the PGA Tour.

Do you think JPR One can win what is now a very open-looking Arkle? Scott

I definitely think he’s got a chance, and he’s not far off on ratings at all. We think a lot of JPR One, and although the Irish horses usually take some beating, there doesn’t appear to be a standout horse as there has been in recent years. Marine Nationale did look the one we’d all have to beat, but it did appear as if he had some issues with his breathing at Leopardstown last weekend. Having said that, the ground was quite testing there , and if we are on better ground at the festival, that could help him in that regard.

Has having a dad who was a top jockey helped you through your career or added more pressure? Tim

It’s definitely been a help for me, and I’d have to say I’ve never really felt any pressure. Of course, you want to do the family name proud and not let anybody down, but I’ve always felt I’m my own man, and having my dad there to be able to call on when I need advice has been invaluable to me. Dad was an excellent rider, but I’ve never felt as if I had to try and match his achievements.

If you could ride any horse at Cheltenham that you aren’t already, who would it be? Zoe

It’s very boring, but it would have to be Constitution Hill. He’s just a monster, and I’d say it would be some thrill to have a spin on him in the Champion Hurdle.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you? Dawn

My mum always says I look like Brad Pitt! Although she’s definitely biased. But yes, I’d absolutely like it to be Brad Pitt.

What in your opinion is the best ride you’ve ever given a horse? Alexandra

Although I’ve probably given better rides to a horse at a lower level, the ride I gave The Conditional to win the Ultima at the Festival is the one that comes to mind. I took the brave man’s route down the inside, and luckily the gaps opened up for me at the right time, and it was just an amazing feeling to win on him that day.

Which fellow jockey is the most fun on a night out? Gary

There’s a few that are good fun actually, but I’d have to go for Paul O’Brien. I live with Paul, and we do have a great laugh together, so I’d have to say him.

Who is the young horse at Joe’s that excites you most for the future? Stu

This is difficult because there are a few I like, but Sunset Marquesa is a mare I can’t wait to go jumping with. She won a bumper on debut at Aintree earlier in the season, and she’s acquitted herself very well in a few Listed bumpers since. She’s a big mare, and I’d say there’ll be plenty of improvement to come from her when she goes jumping.

Who would win in a Charity Boxing Match, you, or Sean Bowen? Michael

Oh 100% me. No question whatsoever, he might be tough, but he doesn’t have the reach to be able to catch me!

Would you rather win a Gold Cup or a Grand National? Horse Racing Fans

Really tough to choose one, but it would be cool to emulate my dad and win the Grand National, so I’d probably go with that. I don’t think many Father/sons have managed to win it, so it would be nice to join that exclusive club.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Amarillo Sky return. What is his plan for the rest of the season? Rick

I’m really looking forward to him returning at Newbury too, and I’d say we’ll make a decision after this weekend. He’ll either head to the Champion Chase or possibly the Grand Annual, but I’d say he’ll improve from whatever he does this weekend.

What gives you more satisfaction, riding a winner or scaring Paul O’Brien? Harry Reed (fellow jockey)

Oh I’d have to say scaring Paul O’Brien. I don’t know what it is, but you don’t even have to jump out on him, I think he just zones out when he’s stood in the kitchen, so if I suddenly walk in, he usually jumps out of his skin! I made a compilation video of me scaring him actually, and it makes me laugh every time I watch it!

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Harvey Watkins