No rush for Annie target

  • Last Updated: April 23 2014, 17:05 BST

Willie Mullins remains in no rush to decide on the likely Punchestown Festival target of brilliant mare Annie Power.

Annie Power (left): Options open
Annie Power (left): Options open

Ireland's champion trainer faced a similar quandary ahead of last month's Cheltenham Festival with his then unbeaten six-year-old, before eventually deciding to run over three miles for the first time in the World Hurdle instead of running in either the Champion Hurdle or the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

Annie Power suffered her first defeat in 11 starts, finding More Of That too strong up the famous Cheltenham hill.

She is entered in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle, the Racing Post Champion Hurdle and the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders' Fund Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown next week.

Mullins told At The Races: "She ran into a cracker (in More Of That), I'd say. People probably don't appreciate how good he is.

"We probably ran a little bit free, which is not the ideal way for a three-mile horse.

"She's in Champion Hurdle, she's in the stayers' hurdle and she's in the mares' hurdle. We won't make any decision until we have to."

While the champion trainer is keeping his cards close to his chest, he did hint the World Series Hurdle, a race in which incredible stable companion Quevega looks set to bid for a remarkable fifth consecutive victory, was Annie Power's least likely option of the three.

Mullins said: "I think she can go any trip. We would probably ride her a bit different over three miles.

"Her method of racing probably suggests a shorter trip than three might be better."

Asked whether she could clash with Quevega, he said: "I wouldn't think it's necessary, so we'll probably keep them apart."