Annie powers to Aintree Hurdle glory

Annie Power reigned supreme as she followed up her Cheltenham exploits with a brilliant performance in the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle at the Liverpool track.

Emulating the mighty mare Dawn Run, who won both this race and the Champion Hurdle in the same season back in 1984, Annie Power was simply the best.

She was barely out of second gear for most of the race as Nichols Canyon set the pace.

Ruby Walsh sat motionless on the brilliant eight-year-old, trained by Willie Mullins, before she went on a long way from home.

Cheltenham second My Tent Or Yours tried to mount a challenge but was brushed aside before lack of stamina kicked in.

The 4-11 favourite went on to win as she liked by 18 lengths from My Tent Or Yours. Nichols Canyon, also trained by Mullins, was third as owner Rich Ricci chalked up his first winner at the course.

The New One fell at the fifth flight. Both horse and rider Sam Twiston-Davies got up quickly.

Walsh said: "She is dynamite. Paul (Townend) went a good gallop on Nichols Canyon and I was happy to follow him early on. He was jumping out to his right and I jumped by him at the last with a circuit to go.

"She let fly at one or two and she just has that in her and the tendency to be a bit brave. Between the last two I was afraid to look back, then I heard the commentator saying Annie Power is going clear.

"She is wonderful mare, she was fantastic at Cheltenham and she was as good today if not better."

Ricci said: "I think it is just her story. The fact her name has got great history to it. She was named after an Irish patriot. She was part of the revolution and establishment of the country. It's a nice story.

"I think the fact she fell at Cheltenham and came back for some redemption, that's what sport is brilliant in offering and it's my first winner here as well.

"We probably should have brought her to this race a couple of years ago instead of running in the World Hurdle, but I was keen on Cheltenham.

"Sport offers lots of things and redemption is one of the best. It's good for the game."

Earlier, Cue Card made amends for his fall in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a clear-cut victory in the Betfred Bowl Chase at Aintree.

Colin Tizzard's classy performer fell three out when in with every chance in the blue riband and put the record straight as he slammed Djakadam and Don Poli, who had been second and third respectively at Cheltenham.

Dynaste made the running in the early stages but the Willie Mullins pair of Djakadam and Don Poli soon took over on the final circuit.

Ruby Walsh tried to dictate matters on Djakadam but was hard pressed in the straight.

Paddy Brennan oozed confidence on Cue Card (6-5 favourite), who sat on the tail of the leading duo before leading at the last.

He drew clear to score by nine lengths from Don Poli, with Djakadam a further eight lengths away in third.

Brennan, who had been left heartbroken at Cheltenham, said: "Just relief. We changed the bit on him today and it helped. He is a horse of a lifetime and is unbelievable. He was not at his best today and he still did that.

"He was just lacklustre at times, if asked for a long one he was not giving me that same exuberance. It's probably me just asking too much of him.

"I'd just like to thank everyone for their support as there are a lot of worse things that can happen in life.

"I'm just very grateful to still be on the horse."

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