Annie Power, who was retired from racing following a very impressive 18-length victory in the Aintree Hurdle in April, 2016 – which earnt her her highest-ever Timeform rating of 170+ – was an extraordinary racemare who won fifteen of her seventeen starts. She is probably best remembered for being one of just four mares, and the first since Flakey Dove in 1994, to win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. However, her 4½-length victory over My Tent Or Yours in the 2016 renewal of the two-mile hurdling championship – for which she had been supplemented, at a cost of £20,000 to connections – was her third consecutive appearance at the Cheltenham Festival.
Bred and originally owned by Eamon Cleary, Annie Power was bought by Rich and Susannah Ricci and transferred to Willie Mullins after winning two ‘bumpers’ for her original trainer, Jim Bolger, in August, 2012. She won her first seven starts over hurdles, including the Irish Stallions EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship at Fairyhouse, by a very easy 12 lengths, en route to her first appearance at the Cheltenham Festival. Despite racing over a distance beyond 2 miles 4½ furlongs for the first time in her career, she was sent off 11/8 favourite for the 2014 World Hurdle, but suffered what would be her only defeat in sixteen completed starts.
The following year, Annie Power returned to the Cheltenham Festival for the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, in which she boasted far and away the best form and was consequently sent off 1/2 favourite. A flying leap at the second-last flight took her into the lead and she was in command, with the race at her mercy, approaching the final flight. However, Annie Power took off a full stride too soon, clipped the top bar and fell; in so doing, she saved the bookmaking industry an estimated £50 million after victories for Douvan, Un De Sceaux and Faugheen – all hot favourites and, like Annie Power, all trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh – in the first three races of the day.