Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase Betting Tips

Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase Betting Tips

Our second big handicap of day two at the festival is the two-mile Grand Annual. This is one of the real originals having been on the schedule since the 1940’s and that history always makes it a race worth winning.

Just £70,000 goes to the winner of the Grand Annual but it feels like a much bigger deal than that. A major betting contest, we feature seventeen chasers taking on 13 fences of the Old Course. The top four in the market at the time of writing being shared between British and Irish yards, again not in keeping with the latest press talk at least in the handicaps.

A little pace is needed here, though proven in softer going, which is a major factor we’ve taken into consideration. Having taken a number of them out on that basis, we are left with these shortlisted six: 

Main Contenders

Hardy Du Seuil 

On a lovely weight and with a nice profile is Jamie Snowden’s Hardy Du Seuil.

The seven-year-old gelding had gone hurdling recently, meaning there were nearly two years between his last two chase starts.

He ran on soft ground in March 2022 and reached an official mark of 135, though in truth he was more of a 140 horse. He returned to this sphere four weeks go and did well. Despite losing a shoe, he ran third at 9/1 which was a lovely prep.

He loves the race conditions we’re looking at on Wednesday and can no go close to 140, making his rating of 132 look generous. Gavin Sheehan rides.

Libberty Hunter 

Libberty Hunter will most definitely be a horse for money ahead of this race. Evan Williams’ entrant fell when favourite on his chase debut but has since added two wins in a row, both in good fashion and both on very soft ground.

He has been in novice company and so many will expect improvement to come, though he has been running in handicaps and will have to have pulled out at least some of the stops to score.

He is a strong proposition in this event, if a little short in the betting.


Another one well backed this week has been Sophie Leech’s Madara, a four-time chase winner who is now on a hat-trick.

Unlike Libberty Hunter, Madara’s wins have been in very strong company. He won here in December over two miles across on the New Course, then despite going up in the weights he was a comfortable winner when a rare British runner at Leopardstown last month.

That form is excellent and he is still getting better too, the only downside being how much he’s now been raised in the weights which is the stumbling block.


Henry De Bromhead is an expert around here and his Maskada will surely go well.

3-14 over fences, this is an experienced runner but one which may still produce a career high having won this very race only twelve months ago.

On the negative side; Maskada was 7lbs lower in the weights when winning this last year and hasn’t been in the very best of form most recently.

Saint Roi 

Saint Roi is another JP McManus-owned, Willie Mullins-trained handicap runner following a similar path; in with a strong chance of winning, but overrated and underpriced.

Although he was running at a higher level, hist most recent performances have not dragged out of him the sort of performance needed to score in a competitive handicap chase off a mark of 152.


Joseph O’Brien is responsible for Solness, a young chaser who has run in the first two on six of his 8 starts.

A winner at Fairyhouse two starts ago, Solness was a solid third at Leopardstown behind Madara and if improving a little more has an each-way chance in an admittedly difficult race.


We should be going at around 11/2 the field here, but with Libberty Hunter so popular at the time of writing it would be no surprise to see us going closer to 4/1 which is a little short.

That contender still has a big shout, as does Madara, the biggest potential in the race comes with HARDY DU SEUIL and he is a very nice price too.

Though we wouldn’t put you off backing him right on the nose, he remains an each-way proposition which can add a little insurance to the selection.

Comments are closed.