The 2021 Grand Annual Steeplechase is the marquee event of the three-day Warrnambool May Racing Carnival, and it is no surprise to see a full field of 12 accepted for the 5500m race.
Past winners of the race Zed Em and Gold Medals are back to duke it out again, with both runners filling the top three over the past three years. Having filled the quinella in 2018 and 2019, the duo will need to see off the likes of Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained duo Bit Of A Lad and Yensir.
Gold Medals has competed in the Warrnambool May Carnival since 2012, and his run on Thursday will be his 12th in that timeframe. He did the Briely and Grand Annual double back in 2018, and no one is ruling out a big result for the veteran.
The Grand Annual is the seventh event on the 10-race card on Thursday, with $350,000 on offer.
Local trainer Symon Wilde heads into the race with the biggest hand, training the trio of Gold Medals, Elvision and Georgethefifth.
The co-featured event on the Thursday card is the Listed Warrnambool Cup, where the runner-up in the 2020 Geelong Cup, Le Don De Vie, is set to go around. He joins Terang Cup winner Wentwood and the ever-present Heart Of Puissance in the strong field of 16 for the 2350m race.
With a full house expected on Thursday and only limited tickets available for Tuesday and Wednesday, the ‘Bool is set to bounce back in style after the carnival was held behind closed doors last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.