The Irish have farmed the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, a Grade 1 National Hunt Flat race over two miles which brings the curtain down on Day 2 of festivities.
The ‘visitors’ have claimed this prize no less than 22 times (with eleven-time winner Willie Mullins always the man to watch) and the prize staying on home soil just seven times.
Some stars of the future have won this National Hunt Flat race over the years including Florida Pearl, Cue Card and the not too shabby, Envoi Allen.
The Champion Bumper is only open to horses aged between four and six and has become one of the most anticipated races of the week.
|When:||Wednesday, 16th March, 4:50 pm|
|Race Type||Grade 1 National Hunt Flat Race|
|Weights:||10st 11lb (4yo), 11st 5lb (5-6yo), 7lb allowance for fillies and mares|
|Where to watch?||ITV, Racing UK, Bookmaker Streams|
What Happened in the Champion Bumper 2021?
In 2021, Sir Gerhard (85/40) held off stablemate and favourite Kilcruit to give Rachael Blackmore another winner and an amazing 11th win in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper for Willie Mullins.
Champion Bumper Betting Odds
As always, form and early clues are thin on the ground, with many of the horses involved only having one or two runs before taking their chances here and in recent years, the Weatherbys Champion Bumper betting odds have not been of much assistance.
2018 winner, Relegate, went off at 25/1 while 2019 winner, Envoi Allen, started the 2/1 favourite. The 2020 winner Ferny Hollow romped in at 11/1 and last year’s winner Sir Gerhard was the 85/40 second favourite. So quite a mixed bag in recent years.
Cheltenham Champion Bumper Tips
The leading contenders, according to the latest Champion Chase odds, are:
American Mike – 3/1 with bet365*
Trainer – Gordon Elliott | Jockey – Jamie Codd | Age 4
A wide margin point winner at Cork who was brought for £195,000 afterwards by Bective Stud, American Mike was strongly fancied on his debut and duly made a strong impression when beating a subsequent next time out winner (dead heated) by seven lengths. He arguably had an easier task in a ‘Listed’ race at Navan, but won by 17 lengths and already looks a big player.
Facile Vega – 4/1 with Coral*
Trainer – Willie Mullins | Jockey – Patrick Mullins | Age 4
Bred to be a Champion – he’s a son of Walk In The Park out of the champion mare Quevega – he was strongly fancied for his Leopardstown debut and made no mistake, winning by six lengths in a facile performance (pun well and truly intended).
Having travelled strongly through the race, he quickly put six lengths between him and his field and impressed both his rider and trainer, who suggested a return to the Dublin Racing Festival could be an option.
Plenty of other contenders will come out of the woodwork, but American Mike and Facile Vega look like ready-made contenders and we expect to see both their names in the upcoming Cheltenham Offers.
Facile Vega was impressive at Leopardstown but American Mike has arguably been even more taking in his two starts and would be the pick of the pair if forced to choose at this stage.
Champion Bumper – Key Race Stats
- The last four-year-old to win was Cue Card in 2010. Since then all the successful horses have been either aged five or six.
- Just two favourites have won in the last 11 years.
There is only one place to start (Ireland) and one man to start with (Willie Mullins) with this race. The Closutton team have won seven renewals (Admittedly Sir Gerhard was inherited but even then, runner up Kilcruit hailed from team Mullins).
That said, don’t be afraid to look past the first or second strings; these seven winners have come from 76 runners, and Mullins has had winners at 16/1, 25/1, 25/1 and 11/1 in the past decade. To continue the Irish domination, Gordon Elliott has won two renewals and Dermot Weld one.
Previous Winners of the Champion Bumper
2021 – Sir Gerhard
2020 – Ferny Hollow
2019 – Envoi Allen
2018 – Relegate
2017 – Fayonagh
2016 – Ballyandy
2015 – Moon Racer
2014 – Silver Concorde
2013 – Briar Hill
2012 – Champagne Fever
* Cheltenham betting odds quoted correct at the time of writing. All odds are subject to change.
A History of The Cheltenham Champion Bumper
The Champion Bumper was first introduced to the Cheltenham Festival racecard in 1992 and was originally known as the Festival Bumper. It had a number of sponsors in its early years, including the Tote and Guinness. When Weatherbys began funding the event in 1997, a longer term of sponsorship began, and the race has been known by its current name ever since.
The Champion Bumper is run over two miles on Cheltenham’s ‘Old Course’ and is National Hunt’s most prestigious flat race or ‘bumper’. Some famous horses who have won this race over the years include Florida Pearl, Dunguib, Cue Card and Envoi Allen. Irish trainer Willie Mullins has won the Champion Bumper a record 11 times.
Who won the bumper in Cheltenham 2021?
What day is the bumper at Cheltenham?
What is the distance of the Champion Bumper?