Willie Mullins: This year could be right for Annie Power

Annie Power ridden by Ruby Walsh

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Trainer Willie Mullins has admitted that this year’s Cheltenham Festival could be the best chance to run Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle.

The eight-year-old has yet to win at The Festival after coming second to More Of That back in 2014 when racing in the World Hurdle.

The Chestnut Mare then fell at the last fence last year in the Mares’
Hurdle but Mullins’ plans could now be set to change.

Current champion Faugheen will miss the Champion Hurdle after being ruled out due to injury and Annie Power looked in good condition last week.

She won at Punchestown in her first race of 2016 and Mullins admits that Annie Power’s best chance of glory could come this year.

“I know it’s not an ideal prep, only one run before it, but I think probably plenty of horses have done that in the past when you actually think about it,” Mullins told At The Races.

“If she was to go for a Champion Hurdle, this is probably the year she should have a crack at it. She should probably be going to Aintree for the Aintree Hurdle, I think that is more her race, leaving the others to Cheltenham.

“I don’t think she’s suitable for the World Hurdle so it’s just a straight call between the Champion and the Mares’. If we want to give Annie Power a shot at it, this looks the year to do it.

“I’m hoping to get plenty of work into her before Cheltenham, so she might not need it. I don’t think she will in a race like the Champion Hurdle.”

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