Grand Annual Chase Racecard
The Grand Annual Chase is a Grade 3 race that takes place on the last day of the Cheltenham Festival.
JOCKEY & TRAINER
This handicap race is open to horses aged five years or older. The race takes place on the New Course at Cheltenham, over a distance of about two miles and half a furlong (2 miles and 110 yards) – with a total of 14 fences to be jumped.
The Grand Annual is not only the oldest race run at the Festival, it is the oldest chase present in the National Hunt Calendar. First run in 1834, the race was discontinued for a time before being run in several different venues around the country. It returned to Cheltenham in 1913.
The race bears the name of Johnny Henderson, who did much to safeguard the future of the race and the Festival. He is also the father of trainer Nicky Henderson, who has won this race twice – in 2006 and 2012.
In 2019, Croco Bay sprang a 66/1 surprise when holding off Bun Doran, in the process becoming the first 12-year-old to win the race since 1997. The success was also a first at the Festival for the horse’s trainer Ben Case and jockey Kielan Woods.
Since 1946, only two horses have won the race more than once – Top Twenty (1958, 59) and Dulwich (1974, 76).
The leading jockey in the same period is Graham Bradley, who won this race four times (1986, 1992, 1995, 1997). Davy Russell is the leading active jockey, having won it twice.
The top trainer in this race is Paul Nicholls, who has won it a total of four times – (2004, 2007, 2016, 2018).