Cheltenham tips: Champion Bumper antepost bets from Frank Hickey

Frank is here to deliver his top picks for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

Frank Hickey

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Frank Hickey has studied the leading contenders for the for Champion Bumper ahead of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival – where Paddy is offering non-runner money back on all 28 races so there’s no risk of losing out if your pick withdraws.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s special ‘Countdown to Cheltenham’ podcast, our top trader picked through the field in preparation for this year’s renewal.

You can listen to the full show BELOW.

EILEENDOVER is 3-3, winning by wide margins at Huntingdon, Wetherby and Market Rasen. She would have a big chance of winning here were she to run, however, it’s very unlikely. She will likely go to Aintree and will run on the flat in the summer.

SIR GERHARD ran a really fast time when winning in Down Royal. He needed to be niggled a long at Navan and while he did end up a comfortable winner in that listed race, I wasn’t too impressed with that run. However, he clearly has loads of ability though.

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THREE STRIPE LIFE is bred to be more of a stayer. However, he showed plenty of pace when winning on his debut at Navan at the end of January. That race probably wasn’t the strongest but he has plenty of ability and can’t be discounted.

HOLLOW GAMES cost £255,000 after winning his point by 30 lengths. He won his bumper debut at Punchestown in November by seven lengths. The second placed The Banger Doyle did win a bumper on his next start. He followed up under a penalty at Leopardstown at Christmas, beating Eurotiep (who bolted up on debut over hurdle on his next start). He looks to have an engine and has a chance if he runs.

Champion Bumper at Cheltenham Festival

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His point-to-point win is fair form and Robcour paid £240,000 for GERRI COLOMBE. I was really taken with his turn of foot when winning on his bumper debut at Fairyhouse in January by 24 lengths. He followed up under a penalty at Naas. He probably will side-step Cheltenham but would be very interesting if he did turn up.

HARRY ALONZO was well backed on his bumper debut in January 2020 at Fairyhouse but was second to Five Star Brian. That form was fair enough. Fourth Barnaviddaun won a nice handicap hurdle at Naas this season off 120. The sixth The Priest’s Leap is rated 122 over hurdles. He was off until Christmas and then was a nice winner at Leopardstown and the fourth Cool Jet won on his next start at Thurles.

As for PETROSSIAN, Nicholls is 17-57 (30 per cent) in bumpers this season so he has a decent bunch. He won very impressively at Newbury on his debut last November but the form hasn’t worked out. He was miles better than the rest that day, not having to even come off the bridle but not seen since. Good ground that day and maybe he was put away waiting for better ground.

GOOD RISK AT ALL He won a listed bumper at Cheltenham in November and defied a penalty in a Newbury listed bumper in February. I’m not sure what his form is worth but the previous winners of that Newbury bumper include Ocean Wind, Acey Milan, Ballyandy, Barters Hill, Definitely Red and Shutthefrontdoor.

ELLE EST BELLE and ISHKHARA LADY were dead heated in a mares listed bumper at Cheltenham in November. Mares have a decent record here considering they would have small representation in the race but they would look to have a fair bit of improvement to find.

KYNTARA is trained by Kim Bailey, who is having an amazing season. He won his point by eight lengths last October and made his bumper debut in Warwick just a few weeks ago, winning by 17 lengths. He probably needs to improve to be making the frame here but it was a striking debut.

I AM MAXIMUS is trained by Nicky but has only been seen once, winning at Cheltenham back in October. Second placed My Drogo is 2-2 over hurdles since, including winning a G2. Third Tile Tapper won a bumper and is rated 130 over hurdles and fourth Smurphy Enki is a hurdle winner, rated 132. I Am Maximus hasn’t been seen since but he has plenty of ability.

Champion Bumper Bet Summary – Wednesday, March 17

Frank Hickey – Gerri Colombe/Hollow Games

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL‘S BIG RACES

March 16 – 13.20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 16 – 13.55 – Arkle Chase latest odds and tips

March 16 – 15.05 – Champion Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 16 – 15.40 – Mares’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 17 – 13.20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 17 – 13.55 – Festival Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips

March 17 – 15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase latest odds and tips

March 18 – 13.20 – Marsh Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips

March 18 – 14.30 – Ryanair Chase latest odds and tips

March 18 – 15.05 – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 13.20 – Triumph Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips

March 19 – 15.05 – Gold Cup latest odds and tips

March 19 – 16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase latest odds and tips

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY TWO SCHEDULE

13:20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f

13.55 – Festival Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y

14.30 – Coral Cup (Grade 3) 2m 5f

15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y

15.40 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y

16.15 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y

16.50 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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