Willie Mullins' Boston Bob won nicely on his reappearance at Punchestown on Tuesday and 24 hours later Annie Power dished out an even more polished hammering to Zarkander than she did at Ascot in November by pulling eight lengths clear on her Cheltenham bow.
Boston Bob subsequently earned quotes of between 8/1 and 14/1 for the World Hurdle in March. We remain in the dark as to which route Annie Power will take, but the three-mile Grade One looks an increasingly sensible option in light of the way that she powered home over two miles and five furlongs on bottomless ground.
She is now as low as 4/1 for the World Hurdle and, having been as big as 10/1 when we advised her for it last month, I'd be happy to continue to give Boston Bob a swerve. He did no more than he was entitled to against inferior opposition this week, and is a nine-year-old that has twice come up short at the Festival already, including when second to Brindisi Breeze in the three-mile novices' hurdle in 2012.
Annie Power, on the other hand, remains a deeply progressive prospect with the scope to win the race regardless of whether or not Big Buck's gets there.