Grand Annual Tips – New Nicholls Star Could Be Poised To Shine at Cheltenham Festival
Grand Annual Tips
Daryl Carter (@DarylCarter7) gives the latest of his Cheltenham day 4 tips here as he runs the rule over the Grand Annual Handicap Chase.
This looks a tough call at present and much will depend on the final field, but here is a look at some of the leading contenders at this stage.
Grand Annual Tips – Potential Nicholls star
GREANETEEN has been impressive in his three starts, winning with ease for champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
Greaneteen jumps well, travels powerfully and looks a chaser to keep on side. Aintree may well be the plan for this one with the flat
track looking to suit him but four of the last ten winners of this race won off marks of 145+ and he could well prove to be a Graded horse in a handicap should he be sent to this race.
Strong pace could suit King runner
LISP carried big weights for much of his hurdle career but has taken to chasing well despite winning just one of his four starts over fences.
He looks like he is ready for a step up in trip in this discipline, but a strong pace in the Grand Annual may suit his racing style. He jumps well on the whole but just falls short of graded company and is attractively handicapped off 144, but the preference would be to see him over middle distances.
Dancer could be in for struggle
AL DANCER’S only win in four starts over fences came on his seasonal return against some unfit rivals and his jumping technique leaves something to be desired.
He tends to leave his back legs trailing through his fences and fails to come away from them running. He is another who falls short of Graded company and a mark of 151 makes him look vulnerable in this race. Don’t be tempted to bak him even with your Cheltenham betting offers.
On the up but weight can stop trains
MAGIC SAINT, another trained by Paul Nicholls, is 6lb higher than when finishing tenth in this race last season and would be the highest-rated horse to win the race in the last ten years should he prove victorious off a mark of 155.
There is no doubt he still has more to offer over this two-mile trip but the handicapper certainly hasn’t missed him and he might prove vulnerable at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Last year’s third back for more
BRELAN D’AS is a regular at Cheltenham, having run here seven times in his 19 career starts, but he has crept up the handicap over fences this term without winning a race.
However, he has only had five starts over his optimum trip of 2m and could still have more to come despite being a nine-year-old.
His third-placed finish in the Grand Annual last year after jumping poorly was an excellent effort and, although 7lb higher this term, he could have a part to play.
Don’t rule out this Irish raider
ECLAIR DE BEAUFEU is a novice and a won a valuable handicap at Leopardstown off a mark of 140 last time, for which he gained a deserving 8lb rise in the weights.
That hike rules him out of the novice handicap chase earlier in the week and, depending on what view the British handicapper has of the horse, he could well turn up here to try and emulate the 2014 Gigginstown winner Savello.
An improving horse, he should be taken seriously and is worthy of consideration to add to your list of Cheltenham day 4 tips.
Grand Annual Tips – Big-race verdict
This looks a tough call at present but for those inclined to having ante-post bets on big handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival, I couldn’t put you off Greaneteen who looks exciting.