10th - 13th March
7

17:30 Cheltenham 11 Mar 2020

Weatherbys Champion Bumper

Grade 1 Standard Open NH Flat Race | Class 1 | 4YO to 6YO

Winner £42,202 - 23 ran

2m 87y

Soft

Draw Advantage: None

Kevin Blake
by Kevin Blake

Published 8th Feburary

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 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 the 2018 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 was responsible for busting the division wide open with APPRECIATE IT at the Dublin Racing Festival. The six-year-old had finished third to last year’s Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen in a point-to-point back in February 2018 prior to winning a similar contest the following month.

The six-year-old had finished third to last year’s Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen in a point-to-point back in February 2018 prior to winning a similar contest the following month

An absence of over 18 months followed, but the son of Jeremy soon started making up for lost time. An encouraging racecourse debut in a bumper at Fairyhouse in November was followed by a victory in a bumper over two-and-a-half miles at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Dropped back to two miles on less testing ground for a Grade 2 bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival, he produced an exceptional performance to take the field apart and win by 7½ lengths. What made the performance so impressive was that he shaped in complete contrast to what might have been expected from one that was dropping in trip and racing on firmer ground than before.

He travelled very well indeed and showed a serious turn of foot to put the race to bed in a matter of strides. Considering we know he stays well, it was a very taking effort indeed that very much stamped him as the one to beat in the Champion Bumper.

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2019Envoi AllenG ElliottMr J J Codd5 11-52/1
2018RelegateW P MullinsMs K Walsh5 10-1225/1
2017FayonaghG ElliottMr J J Codd6 10-127/1
2016BallyandyN A Twiston-DaviesSam Twiston-Davies5 11-55/1
2015Moon RacerD PipeT Scudamore6 11-59/2f
2014Silver ConcordeD K WeldR P McNamara6 11-516/1
2013Briar HillW P MullinsR Walsh5 11-525/1
2012Champagne FeverW P MullinsMr P W Mullins5 11-516/1
2011CheltenianP J HobbsR Johnson5 11-514/1
2010 Cue Card C L Tizzard J Tizzard 4 10-12 40/1
2009 Dunguib P Fenton Mr B T O'Connell 6 11-5 9/2
2008 Cousin Vinny W Mullins Mr P Mullins 5 11-5 12/1
2007 Cork All Star Mrs J Harrington B Geraghty 5 11-5 11-2
2006 Hairy Molly J Crowley P Carberry 6 11-5 33-1
2005 Missed That W P Mullins R Walsh 6 11-5 7-2f
2004 Total Enjoyment T Cooper J Culloty 5 10-12 7-1
2003 Liberman M C Pipe A P McCoy 5 11-6 2-1f
2002 Pizarro E J O'Grady J Spencer 5 11-6 14-1
2001 No Race
2000 Joe Cullen W P Mullins C F Swan 5 11-6 14-1
1999 Monsignor M Pitman B Powell 5 11-6 50-1
1998 Alexander Banquet W P Mullins R Walsh 5 11-6 9-1
1997 Florida Pearl W P Mullins R Dunwoody 5 11-6 6-1

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