Power set for Cheltenham
Willie Mullins is looking forward to seeing unbeaten mare Annie Power gain some valuable Cheltenham experience on Wednesday.
The exciting chestnut secured her eighth and most significant victory on her first visit to Britain in November, getting the better of the reopposing Zarkandar by five lengths in the Coral Ascot Hurdle.
Zarkandar is slightly better off at the weights as the pair do battle for the second time over the intermediate distance of an extended two and a half miles.
Annie Power has the option of going back to two miles for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March or stepping up to three miles for the World Hurdle, but Mullins is in no rush to commit her to either race.
"We want to keep winning races with her until we get to Cheltenham (in March), then we'll decide," Ireland's champion trainer told At The Races.
"We think she is very good, so she is going to have this run which should tell us a lot.
"It will be good to get a spin around Cheltenham. She's done everything we've asked of her so far."
Nicholls also saddles Empire Levant, who carries the colours of Sir Alex Ferguson but would appear to have little chance on official ratings.