Sunday 18 February 2018

Annie Power's odds for Champion Hurdle cut after Coral Hurdle win

Trainer Willie Mullins
Trainer Willie Mullins

Tom Peacock

Annie Power was made to pull out all the stops to maintain her unbeaten record in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot.

Only four went to post for the Grade Two, which was realistically a match between Willie Mullins' mare and the Paul Nicholls-trained Zarkandar, winner of the Aintree Hurdle last season.

Zarkandar took over the running from Bygones Of Brid going down the back straight, with Ruby Walsh having to niggle the big mare to close the gap.

Slightly sketchy jumping prevented her from hitting the front before the last as Zarkandar battled away gamely giving 11lb to the Irish raider, who was sent off the 8-13 favourite, but eventually stamina came to the fore and she powered away to win by five lengths.

Annie Power is now unbeaten in eight outings and is 10-1 from 14s with Betfred for the Champion Hurdle.

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