2020 Champion Bumper tips – Tips for day two’s flat finale

Envoi Allen has won at the last two Cheltenham Festivals

Envoi Allen has won at the last two Cheltenham Festivals

Champion Bumper Tips

We take a look through the betting for the 2020 Champion Bumper and pick out our best bets in the latest of our 2020 Cheltenham tips articles.

The curtain comes down on Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival with the Champion Bumper. This Grade One is the only race at Cheltenham where no obstacles have to be scaled. Many a future superstar have outlined their potential by claiming victory in the Champion Bumper, with the names of Florida Pearl and Cue Card shining bright on the roll of honour.

I’ve taken a closer look at the most likely runners and come up with my 2020 Champion Bumper tips.

Champion Bumper Chase – Topping The Betting

Appreciate It

Finished third to Envoi Allen in a point-to-point before sealing a victory of his own between the flags. Appreciate It (2/1 Ladbrokes) was beaten first time out by Assemble, but made no mistake on his second start, hacking up in another bumper a month later. Trainer Willie Mullins was then blown away with his six-year-old’s performance at the Dublin Racing Festival, where Appreciate It destroyed many of the best flat horses we’ve seen this term. He’s definitely the one to beat and will feature amongst many people’s Cheltenham Festival tips.

Champion Bumper Tips – The Home Challenge

Panic Attack

Eyebrows were raised when Willie Mullins threw Panic Attack (10/1 Unibet) into a bumper at Market Rasen. His first ever runner at the track turned out to be a worthwhile one, as Paul Townend’s mount claimed a 10-length triumph without breaking a sweat. Since then, Panic Attack was brought by owners who work closely with David Pipe, and he will now take over her training duties. She’s a very exciting filly moving forwards.

Israel Champ

Pipe’s second runner in the Bumper will be Israel Champ (12/1 William Hill), who could only finish a well-beaten sixth on his first start under rules. Tom Scudamore’s mount then pulled off a coup at the Cheltenham Festival racecourse, carrying odds of 16/1 to victory in a Listed race. Israel Champ then proved that was no fluke at Ascot, collecting his second Listed prize under the burden of a four-pound penalty. The form of that race has been boosted, but Pipe’s charge really labored on good ground on his first flat start and the going at Cheltenham’s Champion Bumper tips will likely come up on the good side.

Ocean Wind

Shocked the crowd at Huntingdon when carrying odds of 28/1 to victory on debut. Although Audacity, who had finished second to Ocean Wind (16/1 William Hill) that day, managed to turn the tables on his rival at Cheltenham, Roger Teal’s charge did well to get as close as he did to the winner, having come from well off the pace. Aidan Coleman’s mount announced his Champion Bumper intentions with a bloodless Listed triumph at Newbury earlier this month and could have a say in the matter.

Israel Champ Cheltenham

Israel Champ powers home to claim a surprise victory at Cheltenham.

Champion Bumper Tips – The Raiding Party

Ballyadam

Money has come for Ballyadam (8/1 Unibet) ahead of his debut under rules at Navan this weekend. Owned by Cheveley Park – who scored with Ballymore Novices Hurdle favourite, Envoi Allen 12 months ago – Gordon Elliott’s charge was an impressive winner between the flags on his only point-to-point start. I’ll need to see how he copes at Navan before delivering a verdict.

Ferny Hallow

Another baring the famous Cheveley Park colours. Ferny Hallow (14/1 Ladbrokes) was upstaged by Eric Bloodaxe on his first start at Fairyhouse. Patrick Mullins’ mount then lost out to another Gigginstown runner in the form of Forged In Fire at Leopardstown over Christmas, and would have a point to prove if he lined up in this Grade One. He won’t be one of my Champion Bumper tips.

Forged In Fire

Narrowly got the better of Ferny Hallow when they clashed at Leopardstown, where a claiming jockey was taking seven pounds off his back. Forged In Fire (16/1 Unibet) is full brother to Stellar Notion, who reached a mark of 146 over fences. Joseph O’Brien will have been pleased with his charge’s performance, but it wasn’t enough to suggest he could challenge for Grade One honours. I doubt he will feature much in day two’s closer.

Champion Bumper Tips – Overlooked Outsiders

Farouk D’alene

Farouk D’alene (16/1 William Hill) was handed an impressive RPR of 93 after an easy victory between the flags. Gordon Elliott’s charge produced a similarly impressive display on his first start under rules too, powering to a simple victory at Down Royal on Boxing Day. The form of that race isn’t working out well at all, but Farouk D’alene was basically in a race of his own that day. He could be a big danger to the market leaders.

Risk Factor

Stayed on well to finish as the best of the rest behind Appreciate It at Leopardstown. On his previous start, Risk Factor (16/1 William Hill) battled back after being passed at the head of the field, and eventually sealed a seven-length triumph going away from his rivals. Joseph O’Brien will be keen for another crack at Appreciate It. Whether he can reverse the form from Leopardstown is another matter entirely. He won’t be one of my Champion Bumper tips or Cheltenham Festival tips.

Ask A Honey Bee

Took four starts to claim his first victory as a point-to-pointer, beating a fairly modest field on good ground at Ballynoe. Ask A Honey Bee (25/1 Unibet) has been impressive under rules, though, claiming a hat-trick of victories in decent quality bumpers. Fergal O’Brien’s charge dealt with a penalty well to seal a front-running success at Wetherby last time out. I do think he lacks the quality of some of the entrants ahead of him in the betting.

Erik Bloodaxe

Prior to the Dublin Racing Festival, Eric Bloodaxe (25/1 Coral) sat atop the Cheltenham Festival betting. Yet, after fading rapidly as Appreciate It set off for home, Joseph O’Brien’s charge drifted right out to the 25/1 mark. The way Eric Bloodaxe dropped out that day suggested something was amiss. Promising horses don’t just lose their ability overnight, and he could be a solid each-way punt.

Young Buck

Another unraced youngster who’s sitting fairly prominently in the betting. Young Buck (25/1 Unibet) was bought by the Stewart Family on the back of a five-length triumph between the flags and he’s been in the capable hands of Paul Nicholls ever since. Young Buck was due to make his debut at Worcester in October, but was withdrawn on account of the ground. That was four months ago though, and the fact he hasn’t been seen in the interim is a little off-putting. I can’t have him as one of my Champion Bumper tips.

Adrimel

Unbeaten in two starts, winning once between the flags before a bloodless triumph on his debut under rules. The form of Adrimel’s (33/1 William Hill) bumper victory at Uttoxeter looks pretty terrible, but Tom Lacey’s charge barely broke sweat in beating his rivals by 26 lengths. I’m sure Lacey will find another winning opportunity for this likeable youngster between now and the Champion Bumper, and he could be one to watch at a fairly big price.

Appreciate It Leopardstown

Appreciate It bolts up in the Grade Two bumper at Leopardstown.

Champion Bumper Tips – Verdict

Panic Attack clearly has plenty of ability and she looks the best of the British challenge. Being a four-year-old filly, she will be gaining around a stone on her male counterparts. Yet, four-year-olds have a performed poorly throughout the history of the Champion Bumper, so clearly experience goes a long way and I can’t bring myself to back a horse who’s only been seen once in her entire career – no matter how impressive that performance might have been.

I think the reaction to Eric Bloodaxe’s performance at Leopardstown has been extremely excessive, and he could give each-way backers a real run for their money. As could Farouk D’alene, who won extremely easily on his only start under rules and looks a really exciting horse for both Gordon Elliott and the Cheltenham betting offers moving forwards.

While both appeal at each-way prices, I’m really struggling to see past APPRECIATE IT at the head of the Cheltenham Festival betting. The way Willie Mullins’ charge swept the competition aside at the Dublin Racing Festival was super impressive, and I don’t think Appreciate It even needed to hit top-gear that day. The day after Leopardstown, a reporter asked Patrick Mullins who he thought would win the Champion Bumper, and his reply was a simple one. “You saw the winner yesterday.”, he replied.

Appreciate It may not be the most original of Champion Bumper tips, but I think he’s going to win, and win well!