Willie Mullins’ star bumper hope Facile Vega shot to favouritism for the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham after routing his opposition in Leopardstown’s traditionally important Grade 2 event on Saturday.
The five-year-old proved rampant in beating Sandor Clegane by twelve-lengths hard held, leapfrogging the Gordon Elliott-trained American Mike at the head of the betting for the division’s championship event at Cheltenham.
Having been available to back at 7-2 for the Champion Bumper before the off at Leopardstown, the son of Cheltenham legend Quevega is now a general odds-on chance to follow in his mother’s footsteps and land a major Festival prize, with only bet365, Unibet and Betfred willing to lay even money about Facile Vega’s Cheltenham chances.
Mullins enjoyed a fine Dublin Racing Festival, with several other Cheltenham hopes shortening up after impressive Leopardstown performances. They include Triumph Hurdle fancy Vauban (6-1 into 2-1 888sport) and potential Ballymore candidate Minella Cocooner (33-1 into 6-1, BetVictor). The Closutton maestro himself can be backed at 8-15 (William Hill) to retain his title as the Festival’s top trainer in March.