Grand Annual Chase Betting Tips

  • 13/03/2019
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Nick Scholfield aboard Sky Pirate on their way to winning the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

Our betting experts take a look at Grand Annual Chase betting tips coming up on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival 2023.

In this preview, our top tipsters examine the history and look at some potential contenders for the honours in this year’s renewal.

The list of runners for the Grand Annual Chase odds is not yet released, but as the Cheltenham Festival, 2023 draws ever nearer, our betting tips will be uploaded here.

Last year’s winner of the Grand annual saw a GB get across the line first in this contest, as Sky Pirate claimed the win for trainer Jonjo O’Neill.

Who will be crowned the next winner of Cheltenham’s Grand Annual Chase?

(Tips to follow)

Grand Annual Chase Tips – Overlooked Outsiders

Looking back at the last decade of Grand Annual odds, there have been some large-priced winners who have come home.

For this year’s betting tips for the Grade 3 contest, our tipsters also consider some overlooked outsiders who could take the glory.

Last year’s winner Sky Pirate landed the win from a 14/1 SP, but back in 2019, there was a much bigger success story in the fixture.

Veteran 12-year-old Croco Bay rolled back the years to get the victory from 66/1. Half of the last ten winners of this race have gotten their nose in front to score by at least 16/1 odds.

Keep an eye out for our outsider recommendations in our Grand Annual Chase betting tips.

A look at this year’s underdogs will be available closer to the race.

Grand Annual Runners – Wednesday 16th March 4.50

1 Sky Pirate T: Jonjo O’Neill

J: Nick Schofield

2 Andy Dufresne T: Gordon Elliott

J: Mark Walsh

3 Editeur Du Gite T: Josh Moore

J: Gary Moore

4 A Wave Of The Sea T: Joseph O’Brien

J: Shane Fitzgerald (5)

5 Exit Poll T: Sean O’Keeffe

J: Jessica Harrington

6 Before Midnight T: Sam Thomas

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

7 Embittered T: Joseph O’Brien

J: Bryan Cooper

8 Buddy Rich T: Gordon Elliott

J: Davy Russell

9 Elixir De Nutz T: Colin Tizzard

J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr

10 Amarillo Sky T: Colin Tizzard

J: Brendan Powell

11 Dancing On My Own T: Henry De Bromhead

J: Darragh O’Keeffe

12 Il Ridoto T: Paul Nicholls

J: Harry Cobden

13 Thyme White T: Paul Nicholls

J: Bryony Frost

14 Frero Banbou T: Venetia Williams

J: Charlie Deutsch

15 Poseidon T: Charles Byrnes

J: Danny Mullins

16 Gumball T: Fergal O’Brien

J: Paddy Brenna

17 Capuccimix T: Henry De Bromhead

J: Jordan Gainford (3)

18 For Pleasure T: Alex Hales

J: Harry Bannister

19 Hasankey T: Laura Morgan

J: Lewis Dobb (7)

20 Global Citizen T: Ben Pauling

J: Kielan Woods


Grand Annual Odds 2023

Horse/Form Silks Jockey/Trainer Odds
Buddy Rich


J:Davy Russell
T:Gordon Elliott
Amarillo Sky


J:Brendan Powell
T:Colin Tizzard


J:Bryan Cooper
T:Joseph O’Brien
Thyme White


J:Bryony Frost
T:Paul Nicholls
Andy Dufresne


J:Mark Walsh
T:Gordon Elliott
Editeur Du Gite


J:Joshua Moore
T:Gary Moore
Before Midnight


J:Sam Twiston-Davies
T:Sam Thomas
Dancing On My Own


J:Darragh O’Keeffe
T:Henry De Bromhead
Frero Banbou


J:Charlie Deutsch
T:Venetia Williams
Sky Pirate


J:Nick Schofield
T:Jonjo O’Neill
Elixir De Nutz


J:Jonjo O’Neill Jr
T:Colin Tizzard

The final declarations will put a firm stamp on the Grand Annual betting scene for this year’s renewal.

But there is an ante-post market to help guide things based on early entries, and it can lead to a look at form and statistics to help narrow the field a little.

Brave Seasca has been one of the notable early contenders in the Grand Annual odds for the ante-post market.

This season, Venetia Williams’s 7-year-old has been thriving over the fences, completing a hattrick at Warwick in mid-January to get on the radar.

Eldorado Allen put on a bold show at last year’s Festival, finding only Shishkin too good in the Arkle. Last year’s Haldon Gold Cup winner may make an appearance in this.

Amarillo Sky, Gentleman De Mee and Dunvegan are a few others showing early in the racing odds. The latter has been on the up this season in chasing with potentially further progress to come.

How to pick a Grand Annual Chase Winner

Looking back through statistics and trends will help a punter pick out a Grand Annual Chase winner.

This is an exciting handicap chase as it is one of the races from the Festival that usually offers larger odds, even where the favourites are concerned.

It’s an unpredictable and demanding challenge, and there have only been two favourites to get a win in the last ten renewals of this Grade 3 fixture. There have been only 3 in the previous 20 editions.

Last 10 Grand Annual Winners Odds

  • 2021 Sky Pirate 14/1
  • 2020 Chosen Mate 7/2F
  • 2019 Croco Bay 66/1
  • 2018 Le Parisien 15/2
  • 2017 Rock The World 10/1
  • 2016 Solar Impulse 28/1
  • 2015 Next Sensation 16/1
  • 2014 Savello 16/1
  • 2013 Alderwood 3/1F
  • 2012 Bellvano 20/1

There has been a slight trend going towards GB runners in this contest, with 13 of the last 20 renewals of the Grand National going to a home horse, with seven winners from Ireland. However, the caveat here is that only one of the last 10 winners has been from GB.

To touch on some more trends, the last 20 winners had between 3 and 8 career wins and had at least one and no more than seven runs for the season. 

Each of them had never before been placed at odds bigger than 25/1, and all but one had never been beyond 2m 6f.

See what our tipsters recommend for Grand Annual betting as we get closer to the start of this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

All About The Grand Annual Chase: Past and Present

This is a race steeped in fantastic history because it is the oldest race at the Cheltenham Festival, having had its inaugural edition in 1834.

The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase is officially a Grade 3 race around the Old Course at Prestbury Park. Some of its earlier editions were hosted at different venues before it arrived back at Cheltenham in 1913.

The distance is 2m (thereabouts), and the contenders face 14 fences on the trip.

The Grand Annual does see a slight change for the 2023 edition. It has been moved to the penultimate slot on Day 2, usually having been the very last run of the entire Festival.

It is a tough race, and only two horses have previously managed to win it twice, and they were Top Twenty (1958, 1959) and Dulwich (1974, 1976).

The leading jockey in the Grand Annual is Graham Bradley, who won it four times, while Paul Nicholls has the honours of being the top trainer since 1946 with four successes, two of those in the last six renewals.

How Do Horses Qualify For the Grand Annual Chase Race?

The Grand Annual is open to runners 5-year-old and above, which is a handicap, so that’s how the weights are handled. The fixture is for male and female runners, but only four female horses have entered the last 20 editions.

Since 2019, the number of horses in the Grand Annual has been reduced to 20 from the previous 24.

What is the Grand Annual Prize Money in 2023?

There was a top prize of £46,422.75 for last year’s winner, Sky Pirate. The rest of the payouts from the 2021 renewal were 2nd £17,490, 3rd £8,753.25, 4th £4,372.50, 5th £2,194.50, 6th £1,097.25, 7th £544.50, 8th £280.50. The purse for the 2023 edition is yet to be announced.

Grand Annual Past Winners

Given that only two horses, Top Twenty and Dulwich, have won this race more than once since the mid-’40s, they have to go on the list of notable previous winners.

One of the more recent victors is Solar Impulse, who defied a big age trend to win it as a 6-year-old in 2015. And 2019’s veteran winner Croco Bay.

Year Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
2021 Sky Pirate 14/1 Nick Scholfield Jonjo O’Neill
2020 Chosen Mate 7/2F Davy Russell Gordon Elliott
2019 Croco Bay 66/1 Kielan Woods Ben Case
2018 Le Prezien 15/2 Barry Geraghty Paul Nicholls
2017 Rock The World 10/1 Robbie Power Mrs John Harrington
2016 Solar Impulse 28/1 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls
2015 Next Sensation 16/1 Tom Scudamore Michael Scudamore
2014 Savello 16/1 Davy Russell A J Martin
2013 Alderwood 3/1F A P McCoy Thomas Mullins
2012 Bellvano 20/1 Paul Carberry Nicky Henderson
2011 Oiseau De Nuit 40/1 Mr S Clements Colin Tizzard
2010 Pigeon Island 16/1 Paddy Brennan Nigel Twiston-Davies

Other Races on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival

The Grand Annual is the penultimate fixture of Day 2 at Cheltenham 2023. Here are the races for Wednesday at the Festival:

13:30 The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1)

14:10 The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

14:50 The Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Grade 3)

15:30 The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase (Grade 1)

16:10 The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase

16:50 The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Grade 3)

17:30 The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1)