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Published: 16:05 | 7/4/16

All too easy for Annie

Annie Power followed up her Champion Hurdle victory with a superb display to land the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle.

After being the first mare in 22 years to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, Annie Power was sent off the warm favourite to land the feature on the opening day of the Grand National Meeting.

Stablemate Nichols Canyon led in the early stages before Ruby Walsh sent Annie Power into the lead at the third flight and she maintained her position at the head of affairs for the rest of the race.

The New One's exit left Nichols Canyon and My Tent Or Yours as her main dangers but with the former jumping to the right for much of the contest, it was left to Barry Geraghty's mount to challenge.

However, his race was run two from home and Annie Power stormed clear to win by 18 lengths and become the first mare since Dawn Run to win the Champion Hurdle and Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle in the same season.

"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," Walsh said.

"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."

Owner Rich Ricci added: "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."

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