Grand Annual Chase Tips - 4:50pm Cheltenham

2019 Grand Annual Chase Preview

The Grand Annual Chase historically has always been the final race of the week but this year has been nudged up in front of the Conditional Jockey’s race. It’s the oldest race at the Festival having been stablished in 1834.

A handicap over two miles, this contest is often run at a frenetic pace from start to finish so requires a quick accurate jumper. Trainer Paul Nicholls has won it four times and took it twelve months ago with Le Prezien who is owned by J.P.McManus who himself has won it four times since 2005 along with plenty of placed runners.

Le Prezien is a pound higher this time round and not really showed us much this season as yet. He’s a horse who often improves in the spring and it would be no surprise if he bounced back to his best here, he’s a lively each way bet and I wouldn’t put anyone off his chances.

Nicholls has probably a better chance of following up last year’s success with Magic Saint, the trainer has always thought a lot of this youngster who has only had three starts since coming over from France.

After a couple of sighters he came out and showed us what he could do at Wincanton last month when beating Gino Trail by an easy 4 ½ lengths. That was useful form and he will be even better if the rain continues to come down.

Magic Saint is on a mark of 149 here and I really think he could improve into a Graded runner by this time next year so has to be at the top of my list in this company.

Nicky Henderson for obvious reasons would love to win this race, named after his father he last won it in 2012 and often throes a few darts at it.

His main hope could be Whatswrongwithyou who is still a novice having only had three starts over fences. He was rated 139 over hurdles and has already bettered that figure after winning his last two races in the lead up to the Festival.

Last time out he beat Amour De Nuit by 17 lengths and that will have done his confidence a world of good. He needs to improve a bit more to get involved here but has done precious little wrong so far.

Another novice who is going the right way is Not Another Muddle trained by Gary Moore. The trainer has had a few good two mile chasers in his time which included Sire De Grugy and this one has improved no end since going over fences.

Last time out he bolted up at Sandown and that got him his ticket to have a go at this, he may need more experience but he is a decent sort.

Bun Doran won here on the old course back in November and was quite impressive winning by 8 lengths.

He followed that with a decent effort behind Ozzie The Oscar on this track in December and has been put away as he goes well fresh. If he gets his own way he could go well and won’t mind if it goes soft either.

Top weight is Forest Bihan from the Brian Ellison yard, he's rated 153 and has been running well this season without winning. He's a smart chaser on his day and could go well if gets into a nice rhythm early on.

The Irish have a mixed record in the Grand Annual and amzingly only have one representative this year. Henry de Bromhead saddles Mind's Eye who will be ridden by Rachael Blackmore. He's only had five starts over fences and comes here after a fair 5th at Leopardstown last time out.

 

Punters Lounge Tip: Magic Saint 6/1 at Bet365 - Click Here To Bet

 

Grand Annual Chase Trends
Grand Annual Chase Previous Winners
Year WinnerAge Weight JockeyTrainerSP
2019Croco Bay1210-12Kielan WoodsBen Case66/1
2018Le Prezien711-08Barry GeraghtyPaul Nicholls15/2 
2017Rock The World911-05Robbie PowerJessica Harrington10/1
2016Solar Impulse611 -00Sam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls28/1
2015Next Sensation811-02Tom ScudamoreMichael Scudamore16/1
2014Savello811-05Davy RussellTony Martin16/1
2013Alderwood910-11Tony McCoyThomas Mullins3/1
2012Bellvano810-02Paul CarberryNicky Henderson20/1
2011Oiseau de Nuit910-13Steven ClementsColin Tizzard40/1
2010Pigeon Island710-01Paddy BrennanNigel Twiston-Davies16/1
2009Oh Crick610-00Wayne HutchinsonAlan King7/1

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