17:15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup (Grade 3 Handicap) (Class 1, 2m 110y)
1. Alderwood - A P McCoy - T Mullins 3/1 Fav
2. Kid Cassidy - J McGrath (3) - N J Henderson 12/1
3. Oiseau De Nuit - B J Powell (3) - C Tizzard 33/1
4. Drumshambo - A Coleman - Miss V Williams 20/1
The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase is a Grade Three race run on the last day of the Cheltenham Festival over two miles, 110 yards for horses aged five years or older.
Established in 1834, the Grand Annual is not only the oldest race run at the Cheltenham Festival, but is the oldest race run in the entire national hunt calendar. In 2005 the race was used to commemmorate Johnny Henderson, who is widely regarded as the man that kept Cheltenham racecourse from being sold to property developers and also the father of legendary trainer Nicky.
After the schedule was altered in 2009 the Grand Annual is now the last race run at the festival and usually attracts a ultra-competitive field with trainers looking for a last-gasp festival winner.
During the 1950's Top Twenty managed to win this contest twice, whilst Dulwich emulated that feat in the mid-1970's for trainier Colin Davies. However, looking at the roll of honour it is more recently that you see a stand-out winner of the race.
In 1998, Henrietta Knight's Edredon Bleu stormed to a three-and-a-half length victory in the Grand Annual and used it as a springboard for much greater things as he went on to win the 2000 Queen Mother Champion Chase and in 2003 enhanced his reputation by winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park.
There were emotional scenes following the 2006 running as Nicky Henderson managed to win the race with Greenhope and in the process secured his first victory in a race named after his late father.
Being the last race at the festival it often attracts a large field and form guides for the race can give you some help going into the race, so we will endeavour to provide the latest form guides. In addition, we will be give a detailed look at the runners who will be taking part in the festival curtain-closer.