Annie Power, one of the greatest mares to grace the racecourse, has been retired at the age of nine.
Thankfully, the Willie Mullins-trained super mare’s legacy is set to continue, as she is in foal to Derby winner Camelot. There was speculation around whether she would be seen for a swansong appearance on the track this season.
However, the top Irish trainer and the horse’s owners Rich and Susannah Ricci confirmed their decision to call time on her career, saying she “doesn’t owe anyone anything”.
The daughter of Shirocco’s racing form is exceptional; she has won all bar two of her 17 starts — most recently beating My Tent Or Yours twice in the Grade One Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and then the Aintree Hurdle last year.
Her famous defeat came in the mares’ hurdle at the Festival in 2015 when she fell at the final hurdle when four lengths clear of her rivals.
She was partnered mostly by jockey Ruby Walsh, but was ridden by Willie’s son Patrick during her early days on the racecourse.
“I discussed things with her owners over the weekend and we decided we were happy to let her retire,” Willie told the Racing Post.
“She retires with an outstanding record, winning all but two of her 17 races. She was a very special racemare and gave us many memorable days. Her Champion Hurdle win last year was definitely one of the highlights of my career as a trainer,” he added.
“To see her landing running over the last in the Champion Hurdle, after what had happened in the mares’ hurdle the year before, was fantastic and seeing her gallop up the hill for victory was very special.
“Her performance in winning the Aintree Hurdle by 18 lengths was an amazing effort. Little did we think at that time it would turn out to be her last race.”