Annie Power ridden by Ruby Walsh clears the last hurdle to go onto win the Champion Hurdle during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham England Tuesday March 15, 2016. (David Davies/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDO
AP Photo
March 15, 2016

CHELTENHAM, England (AP) The prolific jump-racing combination of jockey Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins got off to a successful start at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday by claiming three winners, including Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle.

The combination's first triumph came with Douvan in the Arkle Challenge Trophy before Annie Power won the day's feature race by 4 1/2 lengths to become the first mare to win the Champion Hurdle since 1994.

Vroum Vroum Mag then completed a treble for Walsh and Mullins by winning the Mares' Hurdle. Mullins is widely tipped to be the leading trainer in this year's festival and Walsh now has 48 winners at Cheltenham, the most prestigious jumps meeting in the British calendar.

However, the day also witnessed the deaths of three horses - The Govaness, Pont Alexandre and Rezorbi.

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