CHAMPION BUMPER

The Weatherbys Champion Bumper is the only flat race at the Cheltenham Festival.

The event, open to four, five and six-year-olds only, has been a huge success since its inception in 1992.

Grade 1 | 4-6yo | Wednesday 17.30
2 miles ½ furlong | Flat | Old Course
Weight: 10st 2lb (4yo) / 11st 5lb (5-6yo) | Allowance: 7lb for fillies & mares
Prize money (2022): £80,000 | 1st: £45,560

It has proven to be a stepping stone for a host of future stars, including past winners Florida Pearl and Cue Card. 

Horses that finish further down the field also often go on to bigger and better things, so it is definitely a race to note when it comes to future Festivals.

Leading flat racing jockeys have sometimes ridden in this race, including Pat Smullen, Kieren Fallon, Joseph O'Brien and Jamie Spencer (who won on Pizarro in 2002).

19/30 winners were aged 5
23/30 winners were trained in Ireland (12 by Willie Mullins)
The last 19 winners won last time out
6/30 favourites won
Updated to include 2022 renewal

In-form horses with a fair amount of experience should be high up on anybody’s shortlist for the Champion Bumper.

That said, five-year-old's (19 wins) have done better than six-year-old's (8 wins).

The aforementioned Cue Card is the only four-year-old winner this century, despite their weight allowance.

Willie Mullins has dominated since his first win in 1996 - winning 12 of the 27 renewals from that year, including 4 of the last 5.

Notably it's not always his first string that prevails and since 2012 he has had winners at 16/1, 25/1 (twice) and 11/1.

The winner and runner-up in the last six Champion Bumper's have all been Irish trained.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
5
138
11-5
2021
6
132
11-5
2020
5
124
11-5
2019
5
127
11-5
2018
5
120
10-12

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Facile Vega
Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins
15/8f
2021
Sir Gerhard
Rachael Blackmore / W P Mullins
85/40
2020
Ferny Hollow
Paul Townend / W P Mullins
11/1
2019
Envoi Allen
Jamie Codd / Gordon Elliott
2/1f
2018
Relegate
Katie Walsh / W P Mullins
25/1
2017
Fayonagh
Jamie Codd / Gordon Elliott
7/1
2016
Ballyandy
Sam Twiston-Davies / Nigel Twiston-Davies
5/1
2015
Moon Racer
Tom Scudamore / David Pipe
9/2f
2014
Silver Concorde
Robbie McNamara / Dermot Weld
16/1
2013
Briar Hill
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
25/1
2012
Champagne Fever
Patrick Mullins / W P Mullins
16/1
2011
Cheltenian
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
14/1
2010
Cue Card
Joe Tizzard / Colin Tizzard
40/1
2009
Dunguib
Brian O'Connell / Philip Fenton
9/2
2008
Cousin Vinny
Patrick Mullins / W P Mullins
12/1
2007
Cork All Star
Barry Geraghty / Jessica Harrington
11/2
2006
Hairy Molly
Paul Carberry / Joseph Crowley
33/1
2005
Missed That
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
7/2f
2004
Total Enjoyment
Jim Culloty / Thomas Cooper
7/1
2003
Liberman
Tony McCoy / Martin Pipe
2/1f
2002
Pizarro
Jamie Spencer / Edward O'Grady
14/1
2001

Festival Cancelled

2000
Joe Cullen
Charlie Swan / W P Mullins
14/1

Facile Vega won in heavy conditions in 2022 to make it three Champion Bumper's in a row for Willie Mullins.

The son of the legendary Quevega, six time winner of the Mares Hurdle, was patiently ridden by Patrick Mullins but powered clear of his rivals up the hill:

‘IT WAS A BIT LIKE WACKY RACES. THE BUMPERS ARE CALLED BUMPERS FOR A REASON - THEY’RE LIKE BUMPER CARS’

The 2021 Champion Bumper winner was Sir Gerhard, ridden by Rachael Blackmore:

Ferny Hollow came with a late run to beat stablemate and hot favourite Appreciate It in a 1-2 for Willie Mullins in 2020:

£400,000 buy Envoi Allen justified strong market support in 2019, ridden by amateur jockey Jamie Codd for Gordon Elliott:

‘HE IS GOING TO BE A THREE-MILE CHASER. HE IS THE REAL THING’

The mare Relegate led home a 1-2-3 for Willie Mullins in 2018, ridden by amateur jockey Katie Walsh:

‘THE PLACED HORSES ALL RAN CRACKERS, NOT IN THE ORDER I THOUGHT THEY WOULD, BUT YOU COME HERE AND YOU FIND OUT’

Another mare won in 2017, despite jumping off late and spending most of the race at the back of the field.

But Fayonagh, ridden by Jamie Codd, came from last to first up the hill:

‘FAYONAGH BEGINS TO FLY FROM A DIFFERENT PARISH’

Looking back further, four-year-old Cue Card won the 2010 renewal at a huge 40/1:

Monsignor, who went on to win what is now the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle the following year, was another Champion Bumper winner at a monster price (50/1) in 1999:

Meanwhile, jumps racing great Florida Pearl won this race with Richard Dunwoody in 1997:

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
1999
Monsignor
Brendan Powell / Mark Pitman
50/1
1998
Alexander Banquet
Ruby Walsh / WP Mullins
9/1
1997
Florida Pearl
Richard Dunwoody / WP Mullins
6/1
1996
Wither or Which
Willie Mullins / WP Mullins
11/4
1995
Dato Star
Mark Dwyer / Malcolm Jefferson
7/2
1994
Mucklemeg
Charlie Swan / Edward O'Grady
7/2f
1993
Rhythm Section
Paul Carberry / Homer Scott
16/1
1992
Montelado
Richard Dunwoody / Pat Flynn
8/1
All Champion Bumper winners prior to 2000