Champion Bumper tips and runners for the Cheltenham Festival 2021

The Champion Bumper rounds out the action on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

Sir Gerhard Kilcruit Champion Bumper

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The Champion Bumper is the most prestigious flat race in the National Hunt calendar and will close out day two of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

The Grade 1 contest, run over slightly more than 2m on the Old Course at Prestbury Park, is open to horses aged between four and six years old who have not previously run under any other form of racing except National Hunt flat rules.

CHELTENHAM TIPS: RUBY WALSH’S CHEAT SHEET FOR ALL OF WEDNESDAY’S RACES

With bumpers in general designed to give horses experience on a racecourse before embarking on a jumps career, the Champion Bumper traditionally sees future Cheltenham stars make their festival debuts.

Florida Pearl and Cue Card are both past winners while Envoi Allen triumphed in 2019, picked up the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle a year later and is favourite to claim the Marsh Novices’ Chase this time around.

Cheveley Park Stud’s Sir Gerhard is among the market leaders, although he will have a tough task beating Willie Mullins’ impressive Kilcruit. The final declarations have been confirmed – and you can check out the full runners and riders by checking out our snazzy racecards.

Champion Bumper runners and odds

CHELTENHAM RACECARDS: DAY 2 RUNNERS AND RIDERS FOR EVERY RACE

Kilcruit Patrick Mullins Navan December 5, 2020

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Champion Bumper tips

Ruby Walsh: “I have been a SIR GERHARD fan since I watched him winning at Down Royal and I don’t have any reason to change my mind. I think he’s rock solid. The Navan performance was every bit as good as Kilcruit’s performance at Leopardstown.”

FULL PREVIEW: CHAMPION BUMPER ANTEPOST PICKS REVEALED BY RUBY WALSH

Matt Chapman: “Guessing here, but SIR GERHARD has done nothing wrong and bids to give Cheveley Park Stud a third win in a row in this event.”

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Mick Fitzgerald:KILCRUIT represents the Willie Mullins team who have a few chances in this contest. It’s hard to get a handle on all of them, but Patrick Mullins is in no doubt Kilcruit is the best of them so let’s trust him!”

FULL PREVIEW: MICK FITZGERALD’S BEST BETS FOR DAY 2 OF THE FESTIVAL

Gina Bryce: “Willie Mullins is looking for an 11th win in this race and with the move of the Cheveley Park Stud horses from Gordon Elliott two weeks ago he now adds SIR GERHARD to his already strong hand.”

FULL PREVIEW: GINA BRYCE’S BEST BETS FOR DAY 2 OF THE 2021 FESTIVAL

Sir Gerhard Jamie Codd Navan December 18, 2020

CHAMPION BUMPER TRAINERS’ VERDICT

Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of I Like To Move It and Super Six: “I think an awful lot of I Like To Move It. He’s done nothing wrong and when he was second at Newbury it was the first time he’s come off the bridle. He’s got excuses for being beaten there and we think he’s grown up a long since. Super Six has been superb in both his runs for us.”

Denise Foster, trainer of Chemical Energy and Three Stripe Life: “Three Stripe Life is a lovely horse. He looked very impressive at Navan and everybody here is excited about him for the future. They all think he’s a horse with real potential. Chemical Energy seemed to struggle at Leopardstown – maybe the ground was a bit slow for him. I’m not sure he ran his race there. He’s a nice horse and if he recaptures his earlier form he should run well.”

Willie Mullins, trainer of Cool Jet, Kilcruit, Ramillies, Sir Gerhard and Grangee: “Paul [Townend] has decided to ride Kilcruit and it’s hard to disagree with that decision. He’s been very impressive on his last two runs and we expect him to be a major player. Sir Gerhard was very impressive when winning his two bumpers but changing stables so close to a major event is not ideal. That said, he’s settled in well and hopefully his natural ability will come to the fore. Ramillies showed up well turning for home at Leopardstown and his home work has improved since. A minor change of tactics could see him involved. Cool Jet won at Thurles last time and has improved at home since. However, that form may not be good enough here and we’ll be pleased if he finishes in the first five. Grangee improved from Market Rasen to Leopardstown but this is a much tougher task.”

Ben Pauling, trainer of Fine Casting: “He’s quite straightforward and I’ve thrown the kitchen sink at him over the last month to give him a way out if he wanted it but he came through with flying colours. He’s an exciting horse for the future and should run a big race. On the English form he has as good a chance as any of them.”

Paul Nicholls, trainer of Shearer: “He’s a nice horse but he’s got it all to do. He was going to have one more run this spring so we thought we’d let him take his chance and he looks one of our better bumper horses. He’ll run a tidy race then he’ll be left until next season.”

Richard Spencer, trainer of Wonderwall: “I think the drying ground will be better for him. He does everything we ask him at home and we couldn’t have him in any better shape.”

Dan Skelton, trainer of Elle Est Belle: “I think she’s my outsider of the week. She’s a very talented horse, has won round the track and you can ride her cold to start off with. She gets 7lb and I’m very happy with her preparation. It’s clearly very hard but she’s stronger than she was in the autumn.”

All the trainers were speaking to the Racing Post.

When is the Champion Bumper?

The Champion Bumper takes place on Wednesday March 17, on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival 2021. It’s scheduled to start at 16.50.

TODAY AT CHELTENHAM…

Champion Bumper winners at the last five festivals

2020 – Ferny Hollow (Horse), Paul Townend (Jockey), Willie Mullins(Trainer)

2019 – Envoi Allen, Jamie Codd, Gordon Elliott

2018 – Relegate, Katie Walsh, Willie Mullins

2017 – Fayonagh, Jamie Codd, Gordon Elliott

2016 – Ballyandy, Sam Twiston-Davies, Nigel Twiston-Davies

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL‘S BIG RACES

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 17 – 16.50 – Champion Bumper 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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