Champion Bumper Betting Tips

  • 13/03/2019
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Sir Gerhard ridden by jockey Rachael Blackmore wins the Weatherbys Champion Bumper during day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

Our Champion Bumper betting guide has all the top-class research and form analysis you need to find the best bets and tips for the closing Grade 1 on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Final declarations have not yet been made for the Champion Bumper, but our experts have analysed all the key trends and cast eyes over the ante-post contenders.

The Champion Bumper has produced some of Cheltenham’s most iconic names throughout the years, and several potential superstars look likely to line up in another competitive renewal this year. We’ve done all the hard work, so you know who to follow at the Cheltenham Festival 2023.

(Tips to follow)

Champion Bumper – Overlooked Outsiders

Last year’s Champion Bumper was won by 85-40 shot Sir Gerhard, who made it three bumper wins from three under an exceptional front-running ride Festival top jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Last year, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned six-year-old was one of six Cheltenham Festival winners for leading trainer Willie Mullins and edged out stablemate and 10-11 favourite Kilcruit by half a length.

Once the declared runners are announced, we will be going into depth with our tips for the key contenders in the Champion Bumper betting and the outsiders in the field.

The Champion Bumper is a race that can boast several outsiders on its recent roll of honour, including Relegate (25-1), Briar Hill (25-1) and the mighty Cue Card, who belied an SP of 40-1 to win this race in 2010.

Once the final field has taken shape and all up to date form has been analysed, we will release our Champion Bumper top tips, so make sure to keep an eye out.

Champion Bumper Runners – Wednesday, 16th March 5.30

1 Ain’t No Sunshine T: Keith Dalgliesh

J: Danny McMenamin

2 American Mike T: Gordon Elliott

J: Jamie Codd

3 Authorised Speed T: Gary Moore

J: Jamie Moore

4 Call Me Harry T: Iain Jardine

J: Conor O’Farrell

5 Cillians Charm T: Anthony McCann

J: Jonathan Moore

6 Esperti T: Peter Fahey

J: Kevin Sexton

7 Facile Vega T: Patrick Mullins

J: Willie Mullins

8 Godot T: Andy Irvine

J: Page Fuller

9 Houlanbatordechais T: Willie Mullins

J: Rachael Blackmore

10 James’s Gate T: Willie Mullins

J: Sean O’Keeffe

11 Joyeux Machin T: Paul Nolan

J: Bryan Cooper

12 Madmansgame T: Willie Mullins

J: Danny Mullins

13 Music Drive T: Gordon Elliott

J: Denis O’Regan

14 Ocean Of Mercy T: Paul Hennessy

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

15 Our Jester T: Hughie Morrison

J: Nico De Boinville

16 Redemption Day T: Willie Mullins

J: Paul Townend

17 Seabank Bistro T: Willie Mullins

J: Brian Hayes

18 Spanish Present T: Martin Keighley

J: Sean Bowen

19 Top Dog T: Emma Lavelle

J: Tom Bellamy

20 Viva Devito T: Willie Mullins

J: Derek O’Connor

21 Poetic Music T: Fergal O’Brien

J: Paddy Brennan

22 Rosy Redrum T: Milton Harris

J: Mitchell Bastyan


Champion Bumper Odds 2023

Horse/Form Silks Jockey/Trainer Odds
Facile Vega


J:Patrick Mullins
T:Willie Mullins
American Mike


J:Jamie Codd
T:Gordon Elliott
Redemption Day


J:Paul Townend
T:Willie Mullins
James’s Gate


J:Sean O’Keeffe
T:Willie Mullins
Rosy Redrum


J:Mitchell Bastyan
T:Milton Harris
Viva Devito


J:Derek O’Connor
T:Willie Mullins


J:Danny Mullins
T:Willie Mullins
Joyeux Machin


J:Bryan Cooper
T:Paul Nolan
Music Drive


J:Davy Russell
T:Gordon Elliott
Poetic Music


J:Paddy Brennan
T:Fergal O’Brien
Seabank Bistro


J:Brian Hayes
T:Willie Mullins

Final declarations for the 2023 Champion Bumper will be announced 48 hours before the race, but we can look at the current ante-post betting market and identify some long-range fancies and betting tips for the big race at Cheltenham.

Representing the Gordon Elliott team, American Mike cost £195,000 after winning a point-to-point in April and has been impressive in both starts under rules so far, most recently when easing clear a Listed event at Navan to win by 17 lengths. 

Willie Mullins traditionally has a battalion of runners in this event, and 2023 looks likely to be no different, with the Closutton maestro responsible for several key contenders for this year’s renewal. One of them is Facile Vega, the son of six-time Cheltenham Festival winner Quevega, who made a striking debut when forging clear to win by six lengths at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.

Mullins also trains Redemption Day, sent off odds-on on his debut at Leopardstown and didn’t need to come off the bridle to record a four-and-a-half length success. The mare Pink In The Park is another likely Mullins candidate for Festival contention in March – she is related to Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle winner City Island and looked a top-class prospect when bolting up at Listowel in September on her first start.

How to pick a Champion Bumper Winner

A browse back through the trends that the Champion Bumper has produced in the last couple of decades can help punters with their predictions for this year’s renewal.

This top Grade 1 bumper, for example, has seen just two favourites deliver the odds in the last ten years. There have been four in the previous two decades, averaging at two every ten renewals.

For Champion Bumper betting odds, that could indicate it’s worth looking down the market.

Last 10 Champion Bumper Winners Odds

  • 2021 Sir Gerhard 85/40
  • 2020 Ferny Hollow 11/1
  • 2019 Envoi Allen 2/1F
  • 2018 Relegate 25/1
  • 2017 Fayonagh 7/1
  • 2016 Ballyandy 5/1
  • 2015 Moon Race 9/2F
  • 2014 Silver Concorde 16/1
  • 2014 Briar Hill 25/1
  • 2012 Champagne Fever 16/1

There has been a definite trend towards Irish winners in the Champion Bumper, with 15 of the last 20 winners coming from Irish yards, with the other four being home winners. 

Other key trends that the Champion Bumper has produced in the 20 editions include no winner having come home at anything larger than 50/1 odds, and all winners in that span had banked 1-3 wins for that current season.

All but one had gone into the Champion Bumper on the back of a victory in their last race, and four of those had their final run at Leopardstown, with Cheltenham, Fairyhouse and Naas being the best of the other tracks for producing Champion Bumper winners next time out.

Our betting experts will be examining those trends and more for this year’s Champion Bumper betting tips.

All About The Champion Bumper: Past and Present

The Champion Bumper is a Grade 1 National Hunt Flat Race run on the Wednesday of the Cheltenham Festival on Cheltenham’s Old Course. Introduced in 1992, the race has regularly proved a breeding ground for top class young horses and continues to see horses of immense potential pass through on the way to bigger and better things. Bumpers are flat races in which young National Hunt horses can gain racecourse experience without facing their generally speedier flat-bred counterparts. It is the only Grade 1 race of its type in the UK.

The first renewal was won by Montelado, ridden by Richard Dunwoody and trained by Pat Flynn. Willie Mullins, the winning-most trainer in Cheltenham Festival history, also rode his sole Festival winner as a jockey in the Champion Bumper aboard his own Wither Or Which in 1996. Mullins has eleven Champion Bumper wins to his name, most notably the future RSA Chase and King George winner Florida Pearl and subsequent Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hero Champagne Fever.

The immensely talented Monsignor won this race in 1999 before going on to win all six starts over hurdles, before injuries and training problems meant he didn’t race past the age of 6, though probably the highest-profile Champion Bumper winner is the ever-popular Cue Card, who won the Champion Bumper on only his second career start in 2010 and went on to obtain an illustrious CV, including wins in the King George, the Ryanair and three editions of the Betfair Chase.

What is the Champion Bumper Prize Money in 2023?

The 2021 Champion Bumper had a total prize fund of £75,000, with £31,651.87 going to connections of the winner, Sir Gerhard. In addition, £11,924.99 and £5,968.13 went to the second and third, respectively, with prize money going all the way down to £191.25 for the eighth-placed horse.

Champion Bumper Past Winners

Year Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
2021 Sir Gerhard 85/40 Rachael Blackmore Willie Mullins
2020 Ferny Hollow 11/1 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2019 Envoi Allen 2/1F Jamie Codd Gordon Elliott
2018 Relegate 25/1 Katie Walsh Willie Mullins
2017 Fayonagh 7/1 Jamie Codd Gordon Elliott
2016 Ballyandy 5/1 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
2015 Moon Racer 9/2F Tom Scudamore David Pipe
2014 Silver Concorde 16/1 Robbie McNamara Dermot Weld
2013 Briar Hill 25/1 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2012 Champagne Fever 16/1 Patrick Mullins Willie Mullins
2011 Cheltenian 14/1 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2010 Cue Card 40/1 Joe Tizzard Colin Tizzard

Other races on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival

The Champion Bumper is one of four Grade 1s on the Wednesday of the Cheltenham Festival, alongside the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, Festival Novices’ Chase and Queen Mother Champion Chase. Wednesday also features the Coral Cup, the Grand Annual and the Cross Country.

13:30 The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1)

14:10 The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

14:50 The Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Grade 3)

15:30 The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase (Grade 1)

16:10 The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase

16:50 The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Grade 3)

17:30 The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1)