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Does Annie have the Power to make Big Buck’s bankrupt?

So, the news that everybody was predicting has come to fruition: Annie Power is set to skip the Champion Hurdle and the big boys to take on the Big Buck’s.

Willie Mullins revealed the news on Sunday evening and it’s clear to see from public reaction that many punters are disappointed with the decision. Annie Power has the ability, turn of foot and staying power to compete at the top level over two miles but due to Mullins saddling the great Hurricane Fly in that race, it was always going to be an impossible dream that she could potentially run against the legendary hurdler.

Annie Power also had the options of running in the Champion Hurdle or the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, but Mullins said on Sunday connections had decided to bid for the staying hurdlers’ crown.

Speaking after racing at Leopardstown on Sunday, Mullins said: “All things remaining well with the horses, this is where things stand. Ruby will ride Annie Power in the World Hurdle. I’ve spoken with the owners and they are happy with that plan.

No matter whether you agree or disagree with Mullins, it’s now time to work out where you stand regarding her chance in the World Hurdle itself. Although the race lacks the prestige of the Champion Hurdle, it’s still a championship race and the fact that four-time World Hurdle monster Big Buck’s will be her biggest challenger does add plenty of intrigue and sub-plot to proceedings.

However, at this stage there only seems one way in which the market is going as Annie Power has been all the rage since being confirmed for the race.

There’s a good chance she’ll get much shorter as we approach the Cheltenham Festival. I’d even stick my neck out now and say that, along with Quevega, at this rate she could go off the banker of the meeting. She’s now best priced 2/1 while Big Buck’s is a weakening 9/4 shot.

She has the all credentials to beat Big Buck’s, who looked far from convincing when getting beat on his return in the Cleeve Hurdle.

If anyone knows how to beat Big Buck’s it will be Walsh, especially as he’ll be carrying 7lbs less than the four-time champion due to the weight allowance.

The trip doesn’t look to be a problem for the mare either, with the way she has finished her races this season suggests that she has the staying power to mix it at three miles.

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