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Grand Annual 2023 Tips - Odds, trends and selections for Cheltenham

Last updated: 14 Mar 2023
Jon Vine 14 Mar 2023
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  • Tips, odds and predictions for the 2023 Grand Annual
  • This handicap chase takes place at 4:50pm on day two of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Final Orders and Elixir De Nutz feature in our final selections
Grand Annual Tips Odds Trends
Nick Scholfield riding Sky Pirate (yellow) clear the last to win The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. (Getty)

The oldest race in National Hunt racing takes place on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, as a field of talented chasers battles it out in the Grand Annual. This handicap was first staged way back in 1834 and is named in honour of Johnny Henderson, father of top trainer, Nicky Henderson.

We won't be finalising any of our handicap tips until the final fields have been confirmed. In this article, you'll find the latest Grand Annual odds, key recurring ten-year trends and a shortlist of possible selections.

Cheltenham 2023 Tips - Grand Annual 2023 Guide

Grand Annual 2023 Odds

Andy Dufresne8/1
Final Orders9/1
Unexpected Party10/1
Third Time Lucki10/1

Grand Annual Key Trends

  • 10 of the last 10 winners had won at least twice over two miles
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had run in at least one Grade 1 or Grade 2
  • 8 of the last 10 winners had run at least five times over fences
  • 8 of the last 10 winners had run at Cheltenham before
  • 7 of the last 10 winners had previously run in either the Grand Annual or the County Hurdle

Having backed her to win the Mares' Novices' Hurdle 12 months ago, I'm firmly against the well-backed Dinoblue. Willie Mullins' mare was far too keen on her Cheltenham debut last season and failed to get up the hill. Dinoblue hasn't jumped particularly convincingly in her three starts over fences this season and Willie Mullins' record in handicap chases at the Cheltenham Festival is surprisingly terrible.

Andy Dufresne seems to have been laid out for another tilt at the Grand Annual. Gordon Elliott's charge ran a blinder when second to Global Citizen last year and Andy Dufresne returns to Cheltenham running off the same mark of 155. Last year's runner-up does, however, have to carry a top-weight of 12-00 - unless Gordon Elliott calls upon a claimer - and the ground is unlikely to come up as heavy as it was last season.

Grand Annual Tips Shortlist

All of the big guns at the top of the weights have stood their ground in the Grand Annual. Just 16 pounds separate the entire field, meaning fancied runners like Unexpected Party, Saint Segal and Red Rookie haven't made the cut.

Gavin Cromwell has worked his usual magic with FINAL ORDERS, helping his seven-year-old rise from 120 up to 149 in the weights since he started out over fences in the autumn.

Final Orders claimed his fifth victory in a row at the Dublin Racing Festival last month, where he was very good value for the four-length winning margin. The British handicapper has only upped his mark by a pound up to 150 and Final Orders' progression shows no signs of slowing down.
I'd be hopeful of a better run from ELIXIR DE NUTZ, who was a little too keen in this race 12 months ago and didn't get home on bottomless ground.

Joe Tizzard's nine-year-old brings some excellent form into the Grand Annual, having thrashed a future winner in Galahad Quest at Wincanton in January, before a runner-up finish in the Grade Two Game Spirit Chase at Newbury last time out. Elixir De Nutz will have to carry more weight than he did 12 months ago, but he's clearly in excellent form and could be open to further improvement.

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