Champion Bumper Odds 2023
Cheltenham Festival 2022
The Champion Bumper is a Grade 1 National Hunt flat race and is the closing event on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival. It was introduced in 1992 and is restricted to horses that have yet to race under flat racing rules. Bumper races were originally created to provide racing experience for National Hunt bred horses before going novice hurdling.
Willie Mullins trained and rode Wither or Witch to win the Champion Bumper in 1996. He is now the leading trainer in Cheltenham Festival history and has won this race a remarkable eleven times. His most notable winners include Florida Pearl (1997), Champagne Fever (2012) and Sir Gerhard (2021). The Champion Bumper Odds 2023 reflect the fine record of the Mullins stable with his horses filling four of the first five places in the ante-post betting.
Champion Bumper Odds and Entries 2023
Facile Vega is one of the shortest priced favourites of the Cheltenham Festival 2023 after his demolition of a good quality field at Leopardstown in February. He is by Walk In The Park out of the great mare Quevega, the only horse in history to win at six Cheltenham Festivals. Facile Vega, like his dam, is trained by Willie Mullins who is the dominant force in the Champion Bumper.
That being said, it has not always been the most fancied runner from the Mullins stable that has come out on top. Ferny Hollow was an 11-1 chance when beating heavily-backed favourite Appreciate It in 2020. Champagne Fever won at 16-1 in 2012 while Briar Hill (2013) and Relegate (2018) both returned at 25-1.
The Mullins team have plenty of confidence in Facile Vega justifying her position at the top of the Champion Bumper odds but their other entries are also worthy of note. James’s Gate, Mercurey and Redemption Day all won on their racecourse debut with the minimum of fuss. Perhaps the most striking was James’s Gate, a five-year-old by Shantou who was always going best when beating Secret Artist by 8 lengths at Punchestown.
Mullins has not had a total monopoly of this race and Gordon Elliott, successful in 2017 and 2019, provides the main danger in American Mike. He beat Battling Bessie by 17 lengths at Navan in December and the runner-up failed by only a nose to win a Grade 2 next time. The last British-trained winner was Ballyandy in 2016 and the best of the home team may be Our Jester and Mullenbeg.
Cheltenham Festival 2022
Latest Champion Bumper odds *
*Best prices correct at time of writing
Facile Vega Evens
American Mike 11-4
Redemption Day 6-1
James’s Gate 12-1
Music Drive 20-1
Our Jester 20-1
Authorized Speed 25-1
Poetic Music 25-1
Embassy Gardens 33-1
Rosy Redrum 33-1
Champion Bumper News
Willie Mullins has always adopted a “safety in numbers” policy to this race and it has paid off handsomely. It seems reasonable to assume that he will be running several again this year. With Facile Vega trading at around even money, there could be some each-way value left in his other runners.
Mercurey is a four-year-old and the only previous winners from that age group were the British-trained Dato Star (1995) and Cue Card (2010). The son of Muhtathir certainly knew his job when winning at long odds-on at Gowran Park in January. Redemption Day also created a favourable impression when comfortably beating Music Drive by four and a half lengths at Leopardstown in December. The runner-up has won since so the form looks solid. James’s Gate may not have beaten a great deal at Punchestown but he did it with considerable ease.
American Mike was a firm favourite in the Champion Bumper betting odds before Facile Vega displaced him. He was odds-on for his debut when cantering seven lengths clear of Royal Romeo at Down Royal in October. The runner-up has since dead-heated at Fairyhouse. He then won impressively at Navan, beating five previous winners. Elliott also has the four-year-old Imagine entered, a debut winner at Punchestown last month. He won in a slow time but had been eased down well before the finishing line.
Hughie Morrison recently celebrated his 1000th winner as a trainer and could be represented here by Our Jester. He has won at Ascot and Lingfield, despite taking a keen hold in both races. Milton Harris has great hopes for Knight Salute in the Triumph Hurdle later in the week and could run Mullenbeg here. She is by Walk In The Park out of a mare by Oscar and was a clear-cut winner at Cheltenham at the end of January.