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5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper
Wednesday 16 March | Age: 4-6yo| Prize: £45,560
The Champion Bumper is a Grade 1 National Hunt Flat race that is run over a distance of about two miles and half a furlong (2 miles and 87 yards). Open to horses aged between four and six years old, the Champion Bumper was established in 1992 and is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham. It was initially called the Festival Bumper, and had various sponsors in the early years, including Tote and Guinness. However, Weatherbys have been sponsoring the race since 1997 and it is now widely known as the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
The bumper race doesn’t really fill me with much excitement, as it can often be a messy race like most bumper races are. By that I mean, they can be falsely run, and the results might not bring the best horse to the fore. I don’t really have a strong opinion on this, as it’s so difficult to weigh up the level of form and compare to each other. I think the guys who study speed figures would have a field day with this race, but that’s not what I do.
Nevertheless, cracking off with the top of the market, FACILE VEGA has done everything correct and comes into this race with a huge reputation. Part of that reputation is possibly due to his breeding, being out of the Mare Quavega, who was a superstar for Willie Mullins. This horse has won his races with little fuss, and won them on the bridle, we don’t really know too much about him, apart from the fact he looks good.
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The other powerhouse yard in Ireland have also been very bullish about their main hope in AMERICAN MIKE. Once again, he’s been impressive in his races, done nothing wrong, and won on the bridle.
There’s been a bit of back-and-forth banter between Jamie Codd and others, as he’s been confident all along saying he’ll beat Facile Vega, but like I said, how is it even possible to compare the runs of these two when they don’t really have collateral form. Both of them are short enough and it seems like a coinflip for which could be better, for me, I’ll have a small EW play in the race in attempt to potentially get some place money, or even more, who knows.
Milton Harris has been the man to follow this year for Juvenile races, with him having a tremendous season. He places his horses very well, and I do believe a lot in what he says. When trainers come out and say stuff, most of the time it’s what you want to hear, and is often a load of rubbish, but with Milton I get the feeling he is straight as they come.
The stats are totally against his runner in this race, ROSY REDRUM, being a 4yo and a Mare, but she looks a talented filly and the fact she gets all the allowances makes her of interest. I think she was an unlucky loser last time out at Newbury in the Class 1 Listed bumper, where the rider arguably gave her too much to do. She was quite green in the finish, which is a slight concern, but with the experience under her belt, she could have more to offer.
From the quote of Milton, it sounds like she is going to be held-up again, which isn’t ideal, but he said “She worked well with Knight Salute the other day. She's a good filly out of a Dubawi mare. She's only four but she'll be one of the biggest in the paddock. I hope the rain stays away and she'll be a strong traveller. She gets 17lb but will need a bit of luck in running.
We're having a go and she should be on the bridle at the bottom of the hill.” At prices of around 33/1 she is my EW play in the race.
Weatherbys Champion Bumper Tips
- Rosy Redrum 33/1 (Each Way) @ The Pools
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