/ Racing

Willie Mullins coy on Annie Power Cheltenham run

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 14:52 | Comments

Willie Mullins: 'Has [Annie Power] ever met a real Champion Hurdle horse?'
Willie Mullins: 'Has [Annie Power] ever met a real Champion Hurdle horse?'

Willie Mullins has given no further clues as to which race Annie Power will contest at the Cheltenham Festival.

With a possible team of 40 at next month's prestige event, Ireland's dominant force has favourites and numerous options in many of the races.

Annie Power, the sturdy and unbeaten chestnut, is arguably causing most interest of all as she still has the options of the Stan James Champion Hurdle, Ladbrokes World Hurdle and OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

But Mullins already has Hurricane Fly bidding for a third Champion and Quevega for an incredible sixth mares' prize, while the step up in trip to three miles against Big Buck's in the World Hurdle would not exactly be the easy option.

"It'll be very late," said Mullins at a press event at his County Carlow stable.

"It will depend on other horses, anything could happen."

Mullins was asked how he would weigh up his decision, and said: "Has she ever met a real Champion Hurdle horse?

"Every time she has gone over a longer trip it has been good and she has travelled well to England three times.

"I have a feeling it will all fall into place, but it depends on what horses are running in which race.

"She could have five horses that will be hard to beat in the Champion Hurdle, one or two hard to beat in the stayers' and then another very good horse to beat in the mares' hurdle.

"She was bought as a chaser and I'm surprised she's still jumping hurdles in her second season but I suppose the next two runs will tell us what we'll do."

"It will depend on other horses, anything could happen"

Just as exciting, and similarly unbeaten, is Un De Sceaux, but Mullins again suggested he may not line up in the Champion Hurdle.

"He's well," said the trainer.

"The other day at Gowran, it looked like a walk in the park for him but going over two miles on heavy ground does take something out of them.

"We'll see. As a young, talented horse, I don't want to be abusing him. He has done everything I've asked but do I throw him in the Champion Hurdle on what he has done?

"To me, Un De Sceaux is the future. We'll play as we find it over the next few weeks."

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