We have something a little different for the Day 2 finale with not a hurdle or fence in sight in the concluding bumper.
The Champion Bumper is a National Hunt flat race which was first run in 1992, and is the final race run at The Festival run over the Old Course.
Winners of this that have gone on to have stellar careers over obstacles include Cue Card and Florida Pearl.
Champion Bumper Course Map (Old Course)
Champion Bumper Past Winners
|2021||Sir Gerhard||85/40||Willie Mullins||Rachael Blackmore|
|2020||Ferny Hollow||11/1||Willie Mullins||Paul Townend|
|2019||Envoi Allen||2/1||Gordon Elliott||Jamie Codd|
|2018||Relegate||25/1||Willie Mullins||Katie Walsh|
|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|
|2012||Champagne Fever||16/1||Willie Mullins||Patrick Mullins|
|2011||Cheltenian||14/1||Phillip Hobbs||Richard Johnson|
|2010||Cue Card||40/1||Colin Tizzard||Joe Tizzard|
|2009||Dunguib||9/2||Philip Fenton||Brian O'Connell|
|2008||Cousin Vinny||12/1||Willie Mullins||Patrick Mullins|
|2007||Cork All Star||11/2||Jessica Harrington||Barry geraghty|
|2006||Hairy Molly||33/1||Joseph Crowley||Paul Carberry|
|2005||Missed That||7/2||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2004||Total Enjoyment||7/1||Tom Cooper||Jim Culloty|
|2003||Liberman||2/1||Martin Pipe||Tony McCoy|
|2002||Pizarro||14/1||Edward O'Grady||Jamie Spencer|
|2001||Abandoned (foot & mouth)||-||-||-|
About the Champion Bumper: The Festival Flat Race
The Cheltenham Festival is often referred to as the number one jumps racing meeting in the world. That isn’t quite technically correct though. Cheltenham is a National Hunt meeting and National Hunt racing contains a number of different disciplines, not all of which involve jumping.
The Champion Bumper is one such example. This Grade 1 is the only race across the four days at Cheltenham not to include either hurdles or fences. Run over a distance of two miles and half a furlong, the Champion Bumper is open only to horses aged between four and six years of age and has been the breeding ground for many stars of the future.
NHF Used to Launch Cheltenham Success
Although the Champion Bumper is occasionally won by horses who usually compete on the flat, the majority of the competitors will go on to run over hurdles the following season. Despite being a relatively new addition to the Cheltenham Festival – it was first introduced in 1992 – the Champion Bumper has already produced winners including Cue Card, Champagne Fever and Envoi Allen who went on to have a host of Grade level successes between them over both hurdles and fences.
The lack of any obstacles means that there is always a caveat when assessing the form from the Champion Bumper. That said, the winner almost always features prominently in ante post betting for the big novice hurdles at the following season’s Festival.
The most successful horses to emerge out of the Champion Bumper have taken any number of different routes during the rest of their careers over the years and there are similarly a number of different routes towards the race that brings the second day of the Cheltenham Festival to a close.
Look To Irish NHF Races For Pointers
There are a lot of flat races in both Britain and Ireland in the first half of the National Hunt season which makes assessing the form quite difficult. The Irish trials are always a good place to start though as Irish trainers have an excellent record in the Champion Bumper.
Another reason for the dominance of Irish trainers is the calibre of Point-to-Point racing in Ireland. It’s commonplace for horses with a good performance or two in Point-to-Points before racing under rules to be towards the top of the betting market for the Champion Bumper.
On the betting, the odds with the bookmakers are not quite the helpful guide that they are for other races at Cheltenham. Favourites have only a modest record at best whereas longer odds horses challenge come the closing stages with regularity so this is a race that’s tailor made for each way betting.
It is also worth noting that it takes a certain amount of experience for a horse to win the Champion Bumper. On only three occasions have we seen four year old winners in the history of the race, one of whom was Cue Card who is arguably the highest calibre Champion Bumper winner of them all.