Cheltenham - At The Races

17:30 Cheltenham 13 Mar 2019

Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4YO to 6YO)

Winner £42,202 - 14 ran


2m 87y

Soft (Good to Soft in places)

View Course Guide

Weighed In

Kevin Blake
by Kevin Blake

Published 8th February

Even before he became the all-conquering power that he has been in the last decade, Willie Mullins was considered the go-to man when it came to bumpers. Ever since he trained and rode Wither Or Which to success in the Champion Bumper in 1996, he has added eight more victories in that race to his tally.

While the emphasis in the Mullins camp has undergone changes that have seen him concentrate on proven horses off the Flat and from France that are not eligible for bumpers, he showed in no uncertain terms in last year’s renewal of this race that he is still a potent force in the division when saddling four of the first five home including the winner Relegate.

Despite this season being a relatively quiet one for Mullins on the bumper front, he unleashed a very exciting prospect on Thyestes day at Gowran Park in the shape of BLUE SARI. The French-bred son of Saddex is a four-year-old that graduated from the Guy Cherel academy which has been the source of some notably promising runners this season including the exciting juvenile hurdler Fakir D’Oudairies.

While the overall time of the race was nothing out of the ordinary, the closing sectionals he produced were very fast for the conditions.

Making his debut in a four-year-old bumper, he was sent off at 15/8 against other well-fancied newcomers from the Joseph O’Brien and Mouse Morris yards. However, at the business of the race it proved to be no contest.

Kept wide throughout in search of better ground, Blue Sari made much of his own running and when asked to quicken by Patrick Mullins he sprinted away from Front View to prevail by an impressive 11 lengths. While the overall time of the race was nothing out of the ordinary, the closing sectionals he produced were very fast for the conditions. The way he shaped also suggested that he will be better when not being obliged to make his own running and his action suggests that a sounder surface will suit.

Blue Sari has since been purchased by JP McManus and while he has yet to be confirmed for the Champion Bumper, it appeals as being the right target for him. As a four-year-old, he will receive 8lb from his elders. While the traditional concern with running a four-year-old in the Champion Bumper is that they won’t be mature enough, a French-bred that has come through the Cherel academy can be expected to be more forward at that age than most.

He appeals as being a leading contender for the race and will hopefully be given the green light to compete.

Kevin's Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):


1pt each-way BLUE SARI (9-1 bet365, 8-1 general)

Previous Winners
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2018 Soft 23 Relegate 5 10 12 - 11 38 days W P Mullins Ms K Walsh 25/1 4:04.10
2017 Good to Soft 22 Fayonagh 6 10 12 - 811 39 days G Elliott Mr J J Codd 7/1 3:51.10
2016 Good 23 Ballyandy 5 11 5 - 1121 32 days N Twiston-Davies (1 miles) S Twiston-Davies 5/1 3:48.20
2015 Good 23 Moon Racer 6 11 5 - 1-1 144 days D Pipe (100 miles) T Scudamore 9/2 3:49.50
2014 Good 22 Silver Concorde 6 11 5 - 32-1 74 days D K Weld R P McNamara 16/1 3:43.80
2013 Good to Soft 23 Briar Hill 5 11 5 - P11 69 days W P Mullins R Walsh 25/1 3:55.00
2012 Good 20 Champagne Fever 5 11 5 - 121 52 days W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins 16/1 3:47.50
2011 Good 24 Cheltenian 5 11 5 - 21 33 days P Hobbs (90 miles) R Johnson 14/1 3:51.70
2010 Good 24 Cue Card 4 10 12 - 1 51 days C Tizzard (83 miles) J Tizzard 40/1 3:48.60
2009 Good to Soft 24 Dunguib 6 11 5 - 2-11 87 days P Fenton B O'Connell 9/2 3:56.80