25-1 shot Briar Hill and Ruby Walsh romp home in the Champion BumperPICTURE: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Mullins and Walsh strike again with Briar Hill
Report: Cheltenham, Wednesday
Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m½f, 4-6yo
BRIAR HILL gave Willie Mullins an eighth winner in the Champion Bumper as he scooted clear of his rivals under Ruby Walsh at a surprisingly generous 25-1.
The five-year-old was one of three runners in the race for Ireland's record-breaking champion trainer and he came home an easy seven lengths clear of Regal Encore with Golantilla back in third.
Briar Hill was completing a first and last-race double for Mullins and owners Andrea and Graham Wylie following the success of Back In Focus in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase earlier in the day.
He was the fifth winner Mullins has had at the meeting so far and a fourth for Walsh.
Mullins, who was posting back-to-back winners in this following Champagne Fever's victory 12 months ago, said: "I had four horses aimed at this and he was the fourth. I wasn't pushing into bringing him.
"We knew he had a little ability. He has no ability at home but he comes alive at the races and I love horses like that. If he'd have finished tenth we'd have been equally pleased. The better ground and his stamina have helped him."
Walsh added: "I wasn't really counting on this fella to give me a winner. He surprised me.
"I had a bad break and got knocked down and had to ride a different race but it worked out. When I gave him a smack he took off and was very impressive.
"He's no Flash Harry at home but I don't mind if they do it at the races."