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  1. #1

    Grand Annual 2018

    I can't believe I'm starting a thread about the Grand Annual in December as I generally find it a minefield of a race and I don't think I've ever had a bet on it before Festival week. However, I've had a horse in mind for this since it's last run when disappointing behind Shantou Rock in October and that horse is DIEGO DU CHARMIL. I can't find the article now but I read in the day or two after his last run that a small issue had come to light to explain the performance and that the horse would have a break and be built back up for the spring festivals, back on favoured decent ground.

    I believe Nicholls rates this horse and may even have had higher hopes than handicaps at the start of the season, but I reckon circumstances will now very much dictate the handicap route. He's been given a mark of 147 to mirror his hurdles rating which was earned by winning the Scottish County Hurdle stylishly off 140. Interestingly 147 is the same mark as 2 of the last 4 winners of the Grand Annual - and the last 4 winners have all carried 11st or higher to victory. Paul Nicholls has won this race 3 times in the past and usually targets one at it (Le Prezien was an extremely well-backed favourite last year if I recall correctly). DDC is a previous winner of the Fred Winter, clearly having a liking for a strongly run 2 miles on decent ground. He's shown an adeptness for the chasing game when jumping well to win a 2 horse affair on debut and I'd be surprised if this race wasn't his target come the spring.

    He wasn't originally priced up for the race but I requested it from PP over the weekend and I've been happy to have a nibble at the 25/1 they provided.

  2. #2
    I haven't had the winner of this since Stormin Norman got Samakaan up to win, so any help in solving this puzzle would be appreciated...

  3. #3
    Top Amateur
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Good post VF... he's very much on my watchlist. All makes perfect sense!

  4. #4
    I don't think DDC has an official chase rating at the moment but having achieved an RPR of 152 for his novice chase win at Newton Abbot and having a hurdle rating of 149 he could be in danger of handicapping himself out of this.
    Topweight ranges around 152-154 and whilst I don't think there's a ceiling if he were to go into a race like this off near 160 there's the chance half the field would be carrying under 11st and potentially some very good/well handicapped animals carrying 10st or a shade more.
    Plenty of 2m chasers rated mid/high 150s tackle the Champion Chase, not suggesting DDC will go this route but it's one to keep an eye on.....

  5. #5
    Top Amateur
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    He’d go for the Arkle ahead of the QMCC if going down that route wouldn’t he Ista?

  6. #6
    Yep, still a novice. There is a risk they'd go the Arkle route but I just don't see it with a mark that is exploitative.

    According to RP his official chase and hurdles mark is 147.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Can't Catch Me View Post
    He’d go for the Arkle ahead of the QMCC if going down that route wouldn’t he Ista?
    Definitely, I just referenced the Champ Chase as plenty of renewals have 155-160 rated chasers taking their chances there, if going Arkle he'd probably have a chance....

  8. #8
    Tell us more.
    He keeps running over right handed tracks where his record is poor he veers out to the left markedly with every jump his mark is coming down, if it continues to do so. He's going to be very well handicapped on a left handed track over 2.
    Iv been waiting an age for him to run in a left handed handicap 2m chase.

  9. #9
    Champ Kevloaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Nantwich, Cheshire
    Must have been mentioned elsewhere on the site but can't remember who said it... but Vaniteux is being campaigned in and incredibly obvious 'plot' towards this race IMO.

    I see sky are 14/1 NRNB.

    I did think about Rock The World at 25/1 but I don't think they'll be able to get the mark back down to be competitive at 10yo.

    Diego Du Charmil mentioned above is 20/1 NRNB

    Ozzie The Oscar, 3rd in the County hurdle last year not beaten far .... he's 40/1 and interested me a little

  10. #10
    3lb Claimer
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Been a horrible race for me over the years
    I am interested in don't touch it though
    Might be laid out for this by a trainer who knows what it takes to win it
    Form is better in the spring on good ground
    Having first run of the season today at Fairyhouse
    Hoping he will run well without winning

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