Grand National Festival: Annie Power poised for more Grade 1 glory in Aintree Hurdle
David Metcalf | April 5, 2016
Annie can Power to success in Aintree Hurdle
The first three home in the Champion Hurdle renew their rivalry in the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle (15:25) on day one of the Grand National Festival, and Annie Power looks a worthy odds-on favourite to come out on top once again.
Trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins, the mare has won 11 of her 13 starts over the obstacles and proved an able deputy for stable companion Faugheen when romping to a 4 1/2 length success over My Tent Or Yours at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
After making a slight mistake at the first, Annie Power made all and ran on strongly after the last to win with plenty in hand.
Apart from the error at the first, the eight-year-old was slick and quick over the obstacles and never looked like getting beat at any stage.
No reason why placings not be confirmed
My Tent Or Yours did threaten to make a race of it two from home, but couldn’t go with Annie when she kicked into overdrive rounding the home turn.
It’s hard to see why My Tent or Yours, or the third home Nichols Canyon, should reverse the form, as there appeared to be no excuses for the pair.
The step back up to 2m 4f will also hold no fears for Annie Power, and she receives a handy 7lb mares’ allowance which puts her clear of her rivals on ratings.
Trip a doubt for Tent, Nichols Canyon feared most
My Tent Or Yours did run a blinder in the Champion on his first start in over two years, but it remains to be seen if he will “bounce” in this and the Nicky Henderson trained gelding is all speed and not sure to be suited by the extra four furlongs in this.
For those reasons, Nichols Canyon could well reverse the Champion Hurdle placings and chase home Annie Power.
The six-year-old, who is also trained by Mullins, made a costly blunder two from home before staying on strongly to finish just a head behind My Tent Or Yours.
It was a cracking effort, and Nichols Canyon ran out a very impressive winner over course and distance 12 months ago when landing the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.
He also lowered the colours of Faugheen when winning another Grade 1 at Leopardstown on his seasonal reappearance and, if Annie Power fails to live up to expectations, Nichols Canyon looks the one most likely to pick up the pieces.
For more Grand National Festival race tips and previews, check out our Aintree page.
Coral’s top tip: Champion Hurdle heroine Annie Power is impossible to oppose and a worthy red-hot favourite to land the spoils. Nichols Canyon looks the one for the forecast.