Annie Power ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival

The mare will not defend here Champion Hurdle title

Annie Power ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Annie Power will not compete at the Cheltenham Festival after suffering a leg injury.

The nine-year-old mare was scheduled to defend her Champion Hurdle crown in March. Last year, the Ruby Walsh-ridden horse won the race comfortably, having started as favourite.

Scheduled to return at Punchestown next month, Annie Power may not feature for the rest of the season. She has not raced since last year's Aintree Hurdle in April.

Speaking to the Racing Post, Annie Power's trainer Willie Mullins revealed it was a different injury to the one previously suffered by the mare.

"It's not the same injury as before but it will definitely rule her out of Cheltenham and possibly the rest of the season, although it is too early to say for sure at this stage."

Despite Annie Power's injury, Mullins still has a string chance of winning the feature race on March 14th, the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.