Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Cheltenham) Betting Tips & Preview – Wednesday 14th March 2018

We have something a little different for the Day 2 finale with not a hurdle or fence in sight in the concluding bumper. With six of the past 10 winners returning at double figure odds – including Cue Card at 40/1 in 2010 – this isn’t the easiest race to predict at times, but with a big field guaranteed it looks an ideal race for an each way punt.

Top Tips

The Big Bite each way @ 25/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

2m½f is the trip for the only flat race of the Cheltenham Festival as the youngsters do battle in the Champion Bumper. The ground is expected to be heavy on the day for this Grade 1 affair, with £75,000 in total prize money up for grabs.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Heavy 2m½f Grade 1 £75,000 24 1/4 1-4

Recent Winners

Nine of the past 10 winners here have been five or six year old geldings. Last year’s heroine, Fayonagh, is the only mare to succeed over this period. The only four year old to come home in front in the past decade is Cue Card in 2010. It’s also worth noting that honours even here when it comes to the Britain vs Ireland battle, with five wins apiece.

2017 Fayonagh 7/1 Gordon Elliott Jamie Codd
2016 Ballyandy 5/1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
2015 Moon Racer 9/2 David Pipe Tom Scudamore
2014 Silver Concorde 16/1 Dermot Weld Robbie McNamara
2013 Briar Hill 25/1 Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh

Analysis: Bite To Taste Bumper Success

Fans of backing last time out winners are as ever spoilt for choice here, with 17 of the current field of 24 heading into the race on the back of a win.

The representatives from the big Irish yards have done well here in recent years, and Messrs Mullins and Elliott look to be strongly represented ahead of the 2018 renewal.

All Bow To Mullins Again?

Willie Mullins enjoyed a fantastic start to the Cheltenham Festival, winning three of the week’s first six contests. Looking at the betting market, it appears he has every chance of adding further to his total here. There seems to be a little bit of money around for Tornado Flyer, but on form, Mullins’ best chance comes in the shape of the current favourite for the race Blackbow.

Three from three in his career so far, the Bumper he won last time out at Leopardstown looked one of the best to have been run so far this season. The second that day, Rhinestone, had previously won by 19 lengths at Thurles, giving the form a solid look. He’s a shortish priced but looks very likely to go well.

Acey Too Pacey For The Rest

Anthony Honeyball has enjoyed something of an up and down year, with the loss of his stable star Fountains Windfall being the undoubted low point. One of the most likeable trainers in the game, it would be great to see him taste success at the Cheltenham Festival, and nowhere does he have a better chance than with Acey Milan here. Three from four in his career to date, including in excellent style at Listed level, he is proven on soft and heavy ground, and sire Milan has done pretty well at the Festival in recent years.

Bite Price Too Big

Tom George could hardly have started the Festival in better style, winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with the impressive Summerville Boy. He has a few other decent chances over the course of the week, one of which comes in this race. Similarly named to his half-brother Might Bite, The Big Bite also seems to have something in common regarding his make up between the ears. Winning in good style last time out, despite veering all over the track, he looks to possess plenty of ability and this big field may well help him settle. He is certainly one of the more appealing outsiders for his in-form yard.

Final Verdict

We would rate the wins by Blackbow and Acey Milan as the best Irish and British form on offer here. We are however reluctant to back anything at a single figure price with so much potential lurking elsewhere.

Take a chance instead on The Big Bite. This one has done really well to win his two starts to date considering how green he has looked at times. Those kinks are usually ironed out over time and we can only see him getting better with racing. At the prices he’s our each way pick.

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