Thursday 25 December 2014

Annie Power to be aimed at World Hurdle

Published 03/03/2014 | 07:43

31 March 2013; Annie Power, with Ruby Walsh up, on the way to winning the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final. Fairyhouse Racecourse, Co. Meath. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Annie Power

Unbeaten mare Annie Power is set to take her chance in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham next week with Ruby Walsh riding.

The six-year-old also holds entries in the Stan James Champion Hurdle and the OLBG Mares' Hurdle, and her target at Prestbury Park has been the subject of speculation for many weeks.

But speaking after racing at Leopardstown on Sunday, trainer Willie Mullins outlined the big staying prize on Thursday week as the intended destination for the Rich Ricci-owned daughter of Shirocco.

Mullins said: "All being well, and if everything goes right, Ruby will probably ride Hurricane Fly in the Champion, Quevega in the mares' race and Annie Power in the stayers' (World Hurdle).

"We've had a good chat with the owners and at that the moment that's the way it looks, they are all happy on that score."

Annie Power's three outings this season have all come in Britain, with Walsh's partner recording victories at Ascot, Cheltenham and, most recently, at Doncaster.

Coral make Annie Power 15-8 favourite from 9-4 for the World Hurdle, easing four-times race winner Big Buck's to 9-4 from 15-8 ahead of what promises to be one of the most eagerly-awaited clashes of Cheltenham week.

Spokesman David Stevens said: "Although Annie Power will be tackling three miles for the first time next week, she won impressively at Cheltenham over an extended two and a half miles in soft ground on New Year's Day, and we favour her to extend her unbeaten record under Ruby Walsh in what could be one of the races of the week as they take on the jockey's old ally Big Buck's."

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