The Champion Bumper takes place at 5.30pm on Day 2 (Wednesday) rounding off ladies’ day at the Cheltenham Festival. The race will be broadcast on Racing TV (RTV).
The race has been run since 1992 and previous winner include King George VI Chase heroes Florida Pearl and Cue Card.
Length of race – The race is run over 2m½f.
Where to watch – RTV.
When to watch – Wednesday, March 13 at 5.30pm.
Prize-money – Last year’s race was worth £75,000.
Course – The race is run on the Old course at Cheltenham.
Race type – The Champion Bumper is a Grade 1 National Hunt Flat race, a type of Flat race run under National Hunt rules in Britain and Ireland.
Weights – Most horses will run off level weights carrying 11st 5lb, with mares and fillies getting an allowance of 7lb. Four-year-olds get an allowance of 8lb.
Ages – Horses aged four to six years can compete in the Champion Bumper.
Sponsor – Weatherbys have sponsored the race since 1997.
Past ten winners:
|2018||Relegate||11||5||25-1||Willie Mullins||Katie Walsh|
|2017||Fayonagh||811||6||7-1||Gordon Elliott||Jamie Codd|
|2016||Ballyandy||1121||5||5-1||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Sam Twiston-Davies|
|2015||Moon Racer||1-1||6||9-2F||David Pipe||Tom Scudamore|
|2014||Silver Concorde||3-2-1||6||16-1||Dermot Weld||Robbie McNamara|
|2013||Briar Hill||1||5||25-1||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2012||Champagne Fever||21||5||16-1||Willie Mullins||Patrick Mullins|
|2011||Cheltenian||21||5||14-1||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson|
|2010||Cue Card||1||4||40-1||Colin Tizzard||Joe Tizzard|
|2009||Dunguib||2-11||6||9-2||Philip Fenton||Brian O’Connell|
- Won last time out, 10/10
- Aged five or six, 9/10
- Adjusted RPR of at least 126, 9/10
- Off the track for at least 32 days, 9/10 (three not seen since Christmas or earlier)
- Won a bumper with at least 13 runners, 7/10
- Won a bumper worth at least £4,000 or €4,000 to the winner, 7/10
- Ireland has won six of the last ten and 19 of the 26 runnings
- Willie Mullins has the best record with nine victories (three in the last ten years) but is often mob-handed. On four of the occasions he has won, he saddled just one runner; on the other five, the winner was not his most fancied in the market
- Five of the last ten winners were bred in Ireland
- Ruby Walsh is the leading jockey in the history of the Champion Bumper with three wins. Those wins came on Alexander Banquet (1998), Missed That (2005) and Briar Hill (2013).
- Willie Mullins is the leading trainer in the race with nine wins. The Irish trainer’s victories came with Wither Or Which (1996), Florida Pearl (1997), Alexander Banquet (1998), Joe Cullen (2000), Missed That (2005), Cousin Vinny (2008), Champagne Fever (2012), Briar Hill (2013) and Relegate (2018).
The Champion Bumper does not have many clear trials, although all but two of the winners won on their previous start. The bumper at Leopardstown’s four-day Christmas meeting is often worth keeping an eye on with a view to the Cheltenham Festival.
What happened last year?
Relegate, a 25-1 shot, stormed from last to first to edge out stablemate Carefully Selected by a neck under Katie Walsh and hand trainer Willie Mullins a ninth win in the race. Members’ Club subscribers can view the 2018 Champion Bumper result and replay here.
Where can I get Cheltenham Festival tickets?
Cheltenham Festival tickets can be purchased from the official festival website here.
Champion Bumper Tip
Cheveley Park’s talented Envoi Allen is unbeaten in four starts, including in three bumpers for Gordon Elliott, and is likely to be the team’s leading hope for this. He was made to work harder last time out in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown but kept finding more and the Cheltenham hill is sure to suit. The Willie Mullins-trained Blue Sari was impressive when an 11-length winner on his debut in January and looks to be Envoi Allen’s chief danger.
1. Envoi Allen, 2. Blue Sari, 3. Ask For Glory
View the racecard and place your bets here.