The penultimate race on Gold Cup Day, the Grand Annual generally attracts a lot of betting interest from punters, and as a result the market regularly changes throughout the season. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on horseracing.net for expert views and analysis on the 2020 Grand Annual as the picture becomes clearer.
The latest odds for the Grand Annual will be listed below just as soon as they become available.
Grand Annual Chase Tips
Tips for the 2020 Grand Annual will appear here.
What is the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase?
The Grand Annual is the penultimate race of the Cheltenham Festival, on Gold Cup day, and is a handicap chase held over two miles and 62 yards. The race was the final race of the festival from 2009, but switched places with the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle in 2019.
The history of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
The Grand Annual is the oldest race run at the Cheltenham Festival, having started life all the way back in 1834. Having been briefly discontinued and then moved to other venues, the race returned to Cheltenham in 1913, and it has been named after Nicky Henderson’s father Johnny Henderson since 2005 - who played a key role in safeguarding both the racecourse and the festival. The race was switched to being the final race of the festival in 2009, until swapping places with the Martin Pipe in 2019 as part of a BHA review into horse fatalities at the festival (after three were killed in the 2018 Grand Annual), and it is now the penultimate race of the festival.
What happened in the 2019 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase?
With the 12/1 shot Al Boum Photo causing a minor shock in the Cheltenham Gold Cup an hour or so before, punters were keen to sign off on a high, though the Grand Annual proved to be a muddling affair. The Paul Nicholls-trained Magic Saint was sent off the 9/2 favourite, though he could only finish down in tenth, and despite the best efforts of the Tom George-trained Bun Doran in second, it was left to the outsider of the lot, the 12-year-old and 66/1 chance Croco Bay, to take initiative, making a remarkable return from a 227-day break to score by a length and a half.
Who is the most iconic winner of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase?
Plenty of talented horses have won the Grand Annual since the turn of the century, though the 1998 winner Edredon Bleu proved to be particularly talented. He arrived at the Grand Annual as a chaser firmly on the up for Henrietta Knight, and he landed a gamble to win under A.P. McCoy, winning by three and a half lengths. Edredon Bleu continued to progress, winning the 1998 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, before finishing second in the 1999 Champion Chase - a race seldom contested by winners of the Grand Annual. Hvaing won the Peterborough Chase for the second year running, Edredon Bleu was a lively second favourite behind the hugely-fancied Flagship Uberalles, and with that rival only third, he burst clear under a trademark McCoy ride to become the champion chaser. Although that was perhaps his finest hour, Edredon Bleu would continue to produce plenty of stunning performances, winning the 2003 King George VI Chase at Kempton, before eventually signing off in the 2005 Ryanair Chase.
Are there any trials for the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase?
There are no trials as such for the Grand Annual, and recent winners have had differing paths to the race. For instance, the 2019 winner Croco Bay won the race on the back of a 227-day absence, having run at Worcester during the summer. Key contenders for the Grand Annual regularly run in valuable two-mile handicap chases and even graded races, and both the 2018 winner and runner-up, Le Prezien and Gino Trail, took their chance in a handicap chase at Sandown at the beginning of February before running at the festival.
Who is the most successful jockey in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase?
The most successful jockey in the Grand Annual is Graham Bradley, who had ridden four winners of the race, courtesy of Pearlyman (1986), My Young Man (1992), Sound Reveille (1995) and Uncle Ernie (1997).
Who is the most successful trainer in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase?
The most successful trainer in the history of the Grand Annual is Paul Nicholls, who has trained the winner of the race on four occasions. Nicholls’ winners in the Grand Annual have come courtesy of St Pirran (2004), Andreas (2007), Solar Impulse (2016) and Le Prezien (2018).