Grand Annual Handicap Chase 2021 Trends

Need some help finding the winner of the 2021 edition of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase? Well, look no further because our team of experts at Bookmakers.co.uk have done the hard work for you by pinpointing the most critical trends and pointers from the last ten renewals in order to help you find the winner of this ultra-competitive two-mile handicap.

Grand Annual Handicap Chase 2021 Trends

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2021 Grand Annual Handicap Chase Trends


The last 10 winners:

  • Were officially rated below 150
  • Had not run beyond 2m6f
  • Had not run more than eight times in the last 12 months
  • Had won on a left-handed track
  • Had won at least twice on a racecourse described as 'galloping'
  • Carried at least 4lbs less than the top weight
  • Featured fourth or lower on the weights list after declarations
  • Were not top weight - just one made the first four

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Were aged between 6-9
  • Had not won more than three chases
  • Had run at least twice that season
  • Had run in either a Grade 1 or 2 race previously
  • Had run at Cheltenham before - six winning, four running in a previous Grand Annual
  • Last ran at least 28 days ago

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Were NOT sent off market leader on the day (six of the last ten winners 16/1+)

Key Trials in the last 10 years

Winners of this Cheltenham Festival handicap chase come from all sorts of places, and generally haven't won in that season, so there are no reliable trials to follow. This is because connections tend not to want to show their hand to the assessor.

In the last five years the trends have altered dramatically, moving away from winners having recent runs to instead lining up at the Festival after upwards of three months off. 2020 winner Chosen Mate was returning from a 50-day lay-off.

Handicap chases run at Cheltenham in October, November or December might be a good place to start your research. And don't forget, look back at the last Grand Annual (Croco Bay, winner in 2019, was running in the race for the fourth time), although no horse has won the race more than once since Dulwich in 1976.


Check out latest Cheltenham ante post odds.


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Trainer Trends

  • Named after his father Johnny, Nicky Henderson loves this race. In the last 10 years he's saddled 24 runners, one winning and six placing. Theinval finished 5th in 2020 at a juicy 50/1.
  • However, Paul Nicholls is the trainer to follow – he’s won this race four times in all, more than any other trainer, twice in the last 10 years.
  • Irish trainers have their fair share of good fortune in this race, winning four of the last ten.

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Jockey Trends

  • In true Cheltenham Festival handicap style, this isn’t a race that tends to be dominated by a small group of riders.
  • Only Davy Russell has won the Grand Annual more than once in the last 10 years, but it does tend to go to a professional, rather than a claiming rider.

How did the trends do last year?

Chose Mate was, unlike the previous winner of the race, a trends hit and was a big market mover on the day. Plenty seemed to know that his mark of 147 was on the lenient side and he was ridden with a huge amount of confidence by Davy Russell.

Thought good enough to compete at Grade 1 level over hurdles, he fit the bill in terms of the number and types of races etc that he had run in and it was clear that connections had done a great job in getting him into the race off his mark, even after winning so easily on his final start before the festival.

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2021?

Sky Pirate heads ante-post betting lists for the Grand Annual Chase but he’s been bumped up to a mark of 152 after his smooth Warwick win which would be a black mark from a trends perspective.

Entoucas is more interesting in terms of his rating and number of runs, indeed he looks far from exposed from a handicapping perspective at this stage. He has won on a left-handed galloping track (although only once) but doesn’t have any experience of Cheltenham. However, his one career win came on a decent surface and it may be that he is at his best when getting some nice ground, which he could do at Cheltenham.

Fellow Irish raider Aramax, trained by Gordon Elliott, won the Fred Winter in 2020 so has proved he can handle the big stage and there could well be a good deal of milage in his chase mark having opened his account at Fairyhouse in January. The downside with him is his age and lack of chasing experience. He would be the first 5-year-old winner of the Grand Annual since Palarshan in 2003.


2020 Grand Annual Handicap Chase Result

PositionNamePriceTrainerJockey
1stChosen Mate7/2fGordon ElliottDavy Russell
2ndÉclair De Beaufeu13/2Gordon ElliottSean O’Keefe
3rdUs And Them10/1Joseph Patrick O’BrienJ J Slevin


Cheltenham Festival 2021 Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day One Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Two Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Three Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Four Trends


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