Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
|Grade 3 race|
|Distance||2m ½f (3,319 metres)|
|Qualification||Five-years-old and up|
|Rock The World||Gardefort||Theinval|
The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase is a Grade 3 National Hunt chase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and 110 yards (3,319 metres), and during its running there are fourteen fences to be jumped. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The Grand Annual is the oldest race at the Festival, and it is also the oldest chase in the present National Hunt calendar. It was first run in April 1834, and it was initially contested over three miles of open country at Andoversford, near Cheltenham. The race was discontinued in the 1860s, but it was revived at the turn of the century. During the early 1900s it took place at several different venues, including Melton Mowbray, Leicester and Warwick. It returned to Cheltenham in 1913.
The name of Johnny Henderson (1920–2003), a banker and racehorse owner, was added to the race's title in 2005. Henderson, the father of trainer Nicky, realised in the early 1960s that the racecourse at Cheltenham was attracting the interest of property developers. To safeguard its future, and that of the Festival, Henderson and other Jockey Club members formed the Racecourse Holdings Trust, and raised £240,000 to purchase the venue.
The running order of the races at the Cheltenham Festival was altered slightly in 2009, and the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase is now the last event on the final day.
Most successful horse since 1946 (2 wins):
- Top Twenty – 1958, 1959
- Dulwich – 1974, 1976
Leading jockey since 1946 (4 wins):
- Graham Bradley – Pearlyman (1986), My Young Man (1992), Sound Reveille (1995), Uncle Ernie (1997)
Leading trainer since 1946 (3 wins):
- Fulke Walwyn – Loyal King (1946), Rose & Crown (1953), Richard of Bordeaux (1964)
- Paul Nicholls – St Pirran (2004), Andreas (2007), Solar Impulse (2016)
Winners since 1946
- Horseracing in Great Britain
- List of British National Hunt races
- Recurring sporting events established in 1834 – this race is included under its former title, Grand Annual Chase.
- Racing Post: