The Champion Bumper brings the second day of the Cheltenham Festival to a close, and regularly proves to be a lively betting heat, with the market changing throughout the season. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on horseracing.net for expert views and analysis on the 2020 Champion Bumper as the picture becomes clearer.
The latest odds for the Champion Bumper will be listed below just as soon as they become available.
Champion Bumper Tips
Tips for the 2020 Champion Bumper will appear here.
What is the Champion Bumper?
The Champion Bumper is a Grade 1 National Hunt Flat race, run over two miles and 87 yards, which brings the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, Ladies Day, to a close. It is the most prestigious ‘bumper’ of the season, races which are designed to give horses who haven’t run on the Flat experience in their career before they switch to jumping, and it is open to horses aged between four and six. It is the only race at the festival where an obstacle isn’t cleared, and as such Flat jockeys regularly ride in it - with Jamie Spencer emerging victorious on Pizarro in 2002.
The history of the Champion Bumper
The race has regularly produced future stars of the sport since being established in 1992, and several winners of the Champion Bumper have come back to win other races at the festival in later years. Willie Mullins has a formidable record in the Champion Bumper, training the winner of the race on nine occasions - though rather surprisingly, Ruby Walsh was only on board for three. Champion Bumper horses regularly graduate to novice hurdling the following season, and the last Champion Bumper winner to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle the following year was the 2012 winner, Champagne Fever, who struck in the Supreme for Willie Mullins in 2013.
What happened in the 2019 Champion Bumper?
Punters have had mixed fortunes in the Champion Bumper over the years, though they well and truly latched onto one runner from the 14-strong field in the 2019 renewal, and the Gordon Elliott-trained Envoi Allen was sent off a strong 2/1 favourite. Envoi Allen was unbeaten in three starts coming into the Festival, winning a graded race at the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown on his previous start, and he knuckled down well to land a gamble in the bumper, denying Willie Mullins a tenth victory in the race by defeating Blue Sari by three quarters of a length.
Who is the most iconic winner of the Champion Bumper?
Several winners of the Champion Bumper have a strong claim to such a title, including the 2010 winner Cue Card and the 2012 winner Champagne Fever, though the most successful of the lot was arguably the 1997 winner, Florida Pearl. Having won the Champion Bumper on just his second career start, Florida Pearl bypassed hurdles and launched straight into a chasing career the following season, winning the 1998 RSA Chase before placing in the 1999 and 2000 renewals of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. That particular prize would elude him throughout his career, but he proved to be a top-class horse nonetheless, winning the Irish Gold Cup on four occasions, and the King George VI Chase in 2001. Florida Pearl signed off in the perfect way, remarkably winning the Irish Gold Cup on his final start as a 12-year-old in 2004. He has a Grade 2 race named in his honour, the Florida Pearl Novice Chase, which is traditionally run at Punchestown in November.
Are there any trials for the Champion Bumper?
The unique nature of a bumper in National Hunt racing means that, in theory, any winner of a bumper race during a season could progress into a bona fide contender for the festival. As such, there are no fixed trials for the Champion Bumper, but it’s worth noting down any bumper winner who impresses during the season, while keeping an eye on some of the graded bumpers throughout the season, such as the Grade 2 contest at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in February, can also prove fruitful.
Who is the most successful jockey in the Champion Bumper?
The most successful jockey in the history of the Champion Bumper is Ruby Walsh, who has won the race on three occasions, courtesy of Alexander Banquet (1998), Missed That (2005) and Briar Hill (2013).
Who is the most successful trainer in the Champion Bumper?
The most successful trainer in the history of the Champion Bumper is Willie Mullins, who has trained the winner of the race on nine occasions. Mullins was responsible for each of Ruby Walsh’s three wins in the race (Alexander Banquet in 1998, Missed That in 2005 and Briar Hill in 2013), while he has also trained Wither Or Which (1996), Florida Pearl (1997), Joe Cullen (2000), Cousin Vinny (2008), Champagne Fever (2012) and Relegate (2018).