Annamix, who has had the burden of being ante-post favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle for the past two seasons, finally makes his Irish debut at Limerick on Friday.
Trained by Willie Mullins, the dogs were barking his name in the summer of 2017 – but injury prevented him from making the track all season.
Yet again Annamix has reclaimed the top spot in the market for the Cheltenham Festival opener, and his connections have admitted it is a relief to finally take the wraps off him in the Future Ticketing.ie Maiden Hurdle.
“Finally we have him out!” said Mullins’ son and assistant, Patrick.
“It looks a nice place to start him off – no horse in there has won a race.
“Looking at it, it’s a nice starting point, and we’d be disappointed if he can’t win.”
Mullins will have mixed emotions, however, because he owns a runner against Annamix.
“I’m riding at Leopardstown, but I actually own Accidental (in training with Mags Mullins) – who is the ‘illegitimate’ son of Airlie Beach,” he said.
A Grade One winner for Mullins, Airlie Beach was in a field before her racing days with what the Mullins understood was a gelding. The name of the resulting progeny goes a fair way to explaining that he was not.
Also on the card, the Grade Three Irish Independent Hurdle sees some of last year’s leading juveniles clash – including Triumph Hurdle winner Farclas.
He is giving 2lb to Gavin Cromwell’s Espoir D’Allen and Mullins’ Saglawy – but they all may struggle to contain Mullins’ Stormy Ireland, in receipt of the mares’ allowances.