2021 Champion Bumper Tips (4.50pm, Cheltenham Day 2) – Two Mullins’ inmates go head to head

The Champion Bumper is the sole flat race at the Cheltenham Festival which was incepted in 1992 and this year there is added spice after Sir Gerhard got moved to Willie Mullins’ yard.

It has often been a starting point for potential superstars such as Cue Card and Envoi Allen, who have both won the race in 2010 and 2019 respectively.

Cheveley Park has enjoyed recent success in the Champion Bumper, Ferny Hollow was superb in last year’s race and followed up Envoi Allen’s success from the previous year.

The last British winner of the bumper was Ballyandy in 2016, but the last four winners have been Irish-trained and Ireland will likely continue their dominance.

 

Champion Bumper Betting Odds 2021

HorseOddsBookies
Sir Gerhard11/41bet365
Kilcruit10/1bet365
Eileendover12/1bet365
Ramillier16/1bet365
Brandy Love16/1William Hill
Three Stripe Lifr16/1William Hill
Chemical Energy16/1bet365
Take Tea20/1William Hill
Letsbeclearaboutit20/1bet365

 

Champion Bumper Preview

  • Sir Gerhard
  • Kilcruit
  • Hollow Games
  • Chemical Energy
  • Letsbeclearaboutit
  • Ramillies

 

Sir Gerhard

Cheveley Park could make it three consecutive wins with Sir Gerhard, who is arguably the most impressive horse in the National Hunt flat division at the moment.

For a six-year-old, Sir Gerhard is very lightly raced with only two runs under rules where the horse has landed the odds-on price on each occasion.

His last run was a nice improvement as he beat a good horse in Letsbeclearaboutit by four and a half lengths at Navan in December.

Although Sir Gerhard has won on testing ground before, jockey Jamie Codd believes he will be better on the nicer ground. This is a versatile horse with a current RPR of 138.

 

Kilcruit

Kilcruit belongs to Willie Mullins’ yard and also the ownership of Miss M Masterson, who in the last five years has had five winners in 13 runs in Irish bumpers.

Kilcruit, another lightly-raced six-year-old, was superb when winning by nine and a half lengths at Navan in December and then putting up an even better-looking performance at the Dublin Racing Festival.

This form has been franked further as Ballycairn, who ran 14 lengths behind Kilcuirt on this day, won on his next run out at Leopardstown over the festive period.

The horse was beaten by Captain Kangaroo on his rules debut in March 2020 but did finish ahead of Western Run, who went on to achieve a rating of 138 over hurdles.

Mullins and Masterson will hope that Kilcruit can do what Appreciate It couldn’t do last season and land the Champion Bumper.

 

Hollow Games

Hollow Games hasn’t quite achieved an RPR as high as Sir Gerhard but has won on both of his appearances under rules on soft and heavy ground.

Trained by Gordon Elliott, Hollow Games beat a last-time-out and next-time-out winner in Eurotiep in his most recent win at Leopardstown in December.

Owners Noel and Valerie Moran have an impressive strike rate in Irish bumpers since last May, they have had five wins in 11 runs with Curlew Hill being the pick of the bunch.

Hollow Games is under the same successful ownership of horses such as Zanahiyr and The Bosses Oscar who have both impressed this season, and Elliott has a live chance here in the Champion Bumper and at future festivals to come.

 

Chemical Energy

Also trained by Elliott, Chemical Energy has two wins in two bumper appearances including an impressive display at Down Royal in October.

He beat good horses in On Eagles Wings and Any Givin Sunday, who had both won on their last runs, with the former having also won on his next track appearance at Naas in January.

The horse was sired by Well Chosen who has before produced impressive horses in festival-winner Chosen Mate, Carefully Selected and Jury Duty.

With a combined winning length in two races of 18 lengths, Chemical energy could be a tempting choice for the Champion Bumper at 16/1.

 

Letsbeclearaboutit

Letsbeclearaboutit has only been beaten by Sir Gerhard in three races under rules.

This Gavin Cromwell-trained seven-year-old has won by seven and eight lengths at Tipperary and Punchestown this season, travelling nicely in both performances.

The horse has earned an RPR of 136 which would suggest he has shown enough ability to be contending with the likes of Sir Gerhard.

Letsbeclearaboutit is currently the flagship horse for Alymer Stud, the horse has provided the owners with two of their three wins in six runs in Irish bumpers in the past five years.

 

Ramillies

Willie Mullins has another live chance in Ramillies, a grey horse who was superb last time out in a bumper at Leopardstown.

Ramillies is on the impressive list of horses owned by Mrs Donnelly, who has had five winners out of 10 runs in bumpers in Ireland in the last five years.

Ramillies earned an RPR of 134 with his win at Leopardstown in December, which came after a 368-day break from his 4th place finish at the same track the time before.

Mrs Donnelly had a memorable festival last March with Shishkin and Al Boum Photo both winning, and Ramillies could be one to build on her success this time around.

 

Champion Bumper Ante-post Betting Tip

I think Kilcruit could land the Champion Bumper for Mullins and Masterson. Kilcruit was very good when returning to the track in December, and it dispelled any concern of rust after a long break from running.

Sir Gerhard certainly deserves favouritism and has earned respect with two good wins against good horses, but at 10/1 I think the yard and owners of Kilcruit will fancy their chances and look to correct the disappointment of Appreciate It in the Champion Bumper of last season.

WIN BET: Kilcruit – 13/8 with Betfred.

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Champion Bumper Trends

  • Age – 11 of the last 12 winners were aged 5 or 6.
  • Price – 2 of the last 12 favorites winners were favourites, 5/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.
  • Last Run – 12 of the last 12 winners won on their previous run before the Champion Bumper, 6/12 winners ran within the last 39 days.
  • Previous Course Form – 2/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 2/12 winners had 1 previous win at Cheltenham.
  • Previous Distance Form – 11/12 winners had at least 1 run over 15-17 furlongs, 10/12 winners had at least 2 previous runs over 15-17 furlongs, 11/12 had a previous win over 15-17 furlongs.
  • Previous NH Flat Form – 10/12 winners had at least 2 previous NH flat runs, 12/12 winners had at least 1 previous flat win.
  • Rating – 12/12 winners were rated 118 or higher.
  • Season Form – 12/12 winners had at least 1 run and 1 win that season.

 

Champion Bumper Recent Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2009 Dunguib Brian O’Connell Philip Fenton
2010 Cue Card Joe Tizzard Colin Tizzard
2011 Cheltenian Richard Johnson Phillip Hobbs
2012 Champagne Fever P W Mullins Willie Mullins
2013 Briar Hill Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2014 Silver Concorde Robbie McNamara D K Weld
2015 Moon Racer Tom Scudamore David Pipe
2016 Ballyandy Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
2017 Fayonagh J J Codd Gordon Elliott
2018 Relegate Katie Walsh Willie Mullins
2019 Envoi Allen J J Codd Gordon Elliott
2020 Ferny Hollow Paul Townend Willie Mullins

 

Champion Bumper Result 2020

1st – Ferny Hollow (11/1)

2nd – Appreciate It (15/8)

3rd – Queens Brook (6/1)

4th – Third Time Lucki (16/1)

 

Cheltenham Festival Day 2 Tips

TimeRaceCurrent Odds
1.20pmBallymore Novices' Hurdle5/1
1.55pmFestival Novices (RSA) Chase10/1
2.30pmCoral Cup16/1
3.05pmChampion Chase8/1
3.40pmCross Country25/1
4.15pmGrand Annual25/1
4.50pmChampion Bumper10/1