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Bookmaker David Power announces retirement after over 50 years on the rails

End of an era: David Power's pitches were sold at auction this week
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The betting ring is set to lose one of its longest standing and most respected members after David Power, leading course bookmaker and co-founder of Paddy Power, announced he is to retire after next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Power, 71, is the chairman of Richard Power Bookmakers, which have pitches at many of the major tracks in Ireland, including Leopardstown, the Curragh and Punchestown. It is understood the business’ pitches, that would occupy premium status, will be sold in coming months.

On Thursday Power revealed plans to wind down the business after Cheltenham, with his son Willie expected to oversee the business. 

He said: "The game has been very good to me and there have been so many highlights – too many to list! I'm 71 now and it felt like the right time to pack it in. I've enjoyed it immensely, have come across brilliant staff and we've had plenty of luck along the way, which is important."

He added: "I'm not going anywhere. My health is good and we've ten horses in training we're looking forward to seeing out this summer. 

"The plan is for Willie to look after the admin side of things after Cheltenham. That will take as long as it takes – several months if needs be, as we want to leave things neat and tidy."

The firm was established in 1895 by David’s grandfather Richard. After qualifying as a chartered accountant, David joined the family business in 1970 and worked the pitches on-course as well as overseeing the shops under the company’s banner.

In 1988 Power merged the business with Corcoran Bookmakers, which resulted in the formation of Paddy Power, now known as Paddy Power Betfair. Power remains a prominent shareholder.

The success he enjoyed in business was mirrored on track alongside his wife Sabina, thanks to two top-class sprinters, Slade Power and Sole Power, both of whom have delivered Royal Ascot success under the care of trainer Eddie Lynam.

Sole Power lands his second King's Stand Stakes in the colours of Sabina Power

Horse Racing Ireland chairman Joe Keeling wished Power well on his retirement from an industry he has served for almost 50 years.

He said: “This is the end of an era. I've known David for almost 40 years and he's been a major contributor to Irish racing, as an on-course bookmaker and on various industry boards and committees. He and Sabina have enjoyed wonderful success as owners and hopefully that will continue.”

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This is the end of an era. I have known David for almost 40 years and he has been a major contributor to Irish racing
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