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Champion mare Annie Power long-term future uncertain, admits Mullins

By Ashley Iveson

Willie Mullins will not rush into making any decisions on Annie Power's long-term future following the disappointing news the mare would miss the Cheltenham Festival through injury.

The popular nine-year-old brought the house down when breaking her Festival duck in becoming the first mare in 22 years to claim Champion Hurdle glory last March.

She followed up in style at Aintree the following month, but has not been seen in competitive action since.

Mullins revealed last week Annie Power was nearing a return to action, with a mares' hurdle at Punchestown on February 22 pencilled in.

However, he revealed yesterday she would miss the showpiece meeting with the Champion Hurdle on the opening day, March 14.

"She has an injury on the other leg, the good leg for want of a better word," Mullins said.

"She's definitely out of Cheltenham and whether she runs again this season, I don't know. We'd have to see the extent of it, but I'd probably say not.

"She's going to be a huge loss to us this season."

With Annie Power ruled out, her illustrious stable companion Faugheen is the hot favourite to regain the Champion Hurdle crown he claimed in 2015.

Mullins added that Ulster-owned Killultagh Vic is nearing a return.

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