Cheltenham Friday 16.50 Odds – Lisp looks a likely sort at 7/1 with 888sport

Leave the Grand Annual to Lisp

Cheltenham Festival

Though no longer the last race of The Festival, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase is the last race in which the top jockeys can ride.

It is often run at a fierce gallop and attracts two-mile handicap specialists, though novices have a good strike-rate. Only two horses – Top Twenty and Dulwich – have won the race twice. The 13-year-old Croco Boy is looking to add his name to that list this year.

Horse Racing Betting at 888sport

Grand Annual Handicap Chase Past Winners

ear Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2019 Croco Bay 12 K Woods B Case
2018 Le Prezien 7 B Geraghty P Nicholls
2017 Rock The World 9 R Power J Harrington
2016 Solar Impulse 6 S Twiston-Davies P Nicholls
2015 Next Sensation 8 T Scudamore M Scudamore
2014 Savello 8 D Russell T Martin
2013 Alderwood 9 A McCoy T Mullins
2012 Bellvano 8 P Carberry N Henderson
2011 Oiseau De Nuit 9 S Clements C Tizzard
2010 Pigeon Island 7 P Brennan N Twiston-Davies
2009 Oh Crick 6 W Hutchinson A King
2008 Tiger Cry 10 D Russell A Moore
2007 Andreas 7 R Thornton P Nicholls
2006 Greenhope 8 A Tinkler N Henderson
2005 Fota Island 9 P Carberry M Morris
2004 St Pirran 9 R Walsh P Nicholls
2003 Palarshan 5 M Bradburne H Daly
2002 Fadoudal Du Cochet 9 D Casey A Moore
2000 Samakaan 7 N Williamson V Williams
1999 Space Trucker 8 S Barry J Harrington
1998 Edredon Bleu 6 A McCoy H Knight

Grand Annual Handicap Chase Trends

  • 80 per cent of the last 10 winners came from outside the top five in the betting.
  • 90 per cent of the last 20 winners had run no more than 12 times over fences.
  • 92 per cent of the last 24 winners were aged nine or younger.
  • 92 per cent of the last 26 winners had an official rating of below 147.

Grand Annual Handicap Chase Current Best Odds

Greaneteen 4/1
Lisp 7/1
Chosen Mate 8/1
Eclair De Beaufeu 10/1
Paloma Blue 12/1
Great Field 16/1
Jan Maat 20/1
Two Taffs 22/1
Marracudja, Capeland, Gino Trail, Theinval and Addrastos 25/1
Ballywood, Croco Bay, Mcgroarty, Us And Them and Winter Escape 33/1
Caid Du Lin and The Bay Birch 40/1
(Odds correct at 14.00 GMT, March 12)

Is Greaneteen too green for a race like the Grand Annual?

Novices have a pretty good strike-rate in this race and Greaneteen has won all three races over fences.
He also won in a big field over hurdles but can get lit up and horses who are buzzing at the start here are rarely still sparkling off the final turn.
The handicapper certainly hasn’t done any favours and I would be looking to take him on at a best 4/1.

Lisp can make a statement

LISP is also having just a fourth start over fences.
After making a promising start at Warwick, he then beat two subsequent winners in a hack canter at Plumpton.
He couldn’t quite cope with the step up to Grade 2 company last time at Doncaster but the winner that day was fourth here yesterday and the second finished fifth in the Arkle on Tuesday.
That is solid form for a handicap and Alan King’s novice was an excellent fifth in the County Hurdle here last year so has Festival experience. The 7/1 with 888sport has to be a bit of value.

Blue hoping for a change of luck

Paloma Blue was hampered by eventual winner Eclair De Beaufeu when second at Leopardstown last time.
He is better off at the weights with the winner and may well turn the tables.
PLaced in his last three races, Henry De Bromhead’s gelding has run well in both previous visits to The Festival and looks a solid each-way bet again at the general 12/1.

Could Mate be punters’ friend?

Chosen Mate is a Grade 2 winner hurdles and yet another with plenty of scope over fences having had just three runs.
He beat useful opposition with the proverbial ton in hand at Gowran in January and Davy Russell has been keen to keep the partnership intact.
An 8/1 chance with Paddy Power, he’s not particularly well handicapped and lacks Festival experience but there should be plenty more to come.

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