Ricci and Ruby hail Annie Power

Annie Power’s owner Rich Ricci and jockey Ruby Walsh have both hailed the Champion Hurdle winner after her retirement was confirmed.

The nine-year-old mare is already in foal to Derby winner Camelot, and it had been suggested she may return to the track one day but that will not happen.

Ricci said: “I think of her as a wonderful racemare who produced probably the two most memorable moments in recent Cheltenham history, when she firstly fell at the last in the mares’ race and the following year won the Champion Hurdle.

“She will always hold a special place in the affections of myself, Susannah and our family.

“We’re lucky that she gets to retire as a Grade One-winning championship mare.”

Walsh admits Annie Power will take a “fair bit of replacing” after it was confirmed.

She proved a more than able super-sub when stepping in at late notice to replace injured stablemates Faugheen and Arctic Fire in the 2016 Champion Hurdle, and proceeded to make all the running.

“She was a brilliant mare. We didn’t have much luck with her this year, but she’s sound and well and retiring to the breeding shed – to me sadness would have been if something happened to her,” Walsh told Racing UK.

“She rode out this morning, she’s retired and she’s in foal and hopefully she might breed something for us.

“She kept coming back, even last year she was dropped in at the 11th hour to win a Champion Hurdle and that was one of the best performances of her career, and after that she pulverised My Tent Or Yours and Nichols Canyon at Aintree.

“It’s disappointing we haven’t seen her since, but that’s the make up of Annie Power.

“Any horse that wins lots of races is great. She delivered on big days, with Faugheen and Arctic Fire having gone by the wayside she delivered when you needed her.

“She’ll take a fair bit of replacing, but it was great to have had her.”

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