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Cheltenham Champion Bumper 2023 Trends

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 7 mins

Cheltenham Champion Bumper 2023 Trends

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2023 Cheltenham Champion Bumper Trends

The last 10 winners:

  • Won last time out - that includes all bar three placed finishers
  • If they had run at Cheltenham before, they had won
  • Had finished in the first three on a left-handed track, eight had won
  • Had won on a track described as 'galloping' or 'undulating'
  • Had run in at least two bumpers

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Last ran at least 32 days ago (exception Ferny Hollow, 18 days)
  • Had never finished out of the first three (Fayonagh, 8th on debut)
  • Had run on both left-handed and right-handed tracks (Facile Vega)

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Had won at least two bumpers (exceptions Silver Concorde and Ferny Hollow)
  • Were trained in Ireland. Horses trained in Ireland have won 22 of this race's 30 renewals.

Key Trials in the last 10 years

The Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner can come from anywhere at all, as long as they are good enough, so keep an eye on all decent bumpers run in January and February on left-handed, testing courses; particularly Leopardstown, Cheltenham, and Newbury, but also right-handed tracks Ascot and Fairyhouse.

One race to watch out for in particular is the Listed bumper at Navan in December as Gordon Elliott trained the winner of that in 2019 and 2020 and both went on to win the follow year's Champion Bumper. He also saddled the winner in 2021, who finished second at Cheltenham.

Elliott also won the race in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and saddled the runner-up in 2019. His 2016 winner was the mighty Samcro.

Unfortunately the race was abandoned in 2022 and has not been rescheduled

Trainer Trends

  • Willie Mullins has won 12 Champion Bumpers and in the last 10 years has additionally saddled nine placed horses from 40 runners. In 2020 and 2021 he saddled the first two, home and he had the second in 2019 and the first three in 2018. He's also won four of the last five renewals.
  • Gordon Elliott is becoming a big player too. From 11 runners, he's saddled two winners and a second and a third.
  • Irish trainers have a tremendous record in this race on the whole, winning 22 times in the race's 31-year history.

Jockey Trends

  • Amateur riders based in Ireland have won four of the last six editions.
  • Jamie Codd has only had four rides in the race, all for Gordon Elliott, but they have yielded two wins, a second and a third, so that is a combination to keep a very close eye on.

How did the trends do last year?

The Willie Mullins-trained Facile Vega had only one negative on trends - he had never run on right-handed course, where as the 10 winners before him had run on both left and right-handed tracks.

This meant he was not the number one pick on trends, but of course, he was Mullins's first string and the son of six-time Cheltenham Festival winner Quevega.

Second American Mike ticked every box and had to be the top trends pick after winning trainer Gordon Elliott's favourite Listed bumper at Navan.

17 in the 20-runner field had won last time out, including the first four finishers and nine of the top 10. Just six had won the recommended two bumpers, including the first two finishers. Additionally, the first 10 home had won on a course described as 'galloping' and/or 'undulating', the majority of them winning on left-handed courses with that description, including the first two.

This shows how strong those three trends notes are.

Check out latest Cheltenham ante-post odds.

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2032?

Given the history of this race, it will probably pay to focus on the more prominent bumper performers from Ireland, or more specifically from the Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott stables.

Top of the list at this stage for Elliott is the unbeaten Better Days Ahead, who has won on a galloping, right-handed track. He's only run once, and lacks a try left-handed, but there's still time.

In terms of Mullins's hopes, It's For Me jumped to the top of the tree after romping to a 10-length win at Navan on debut.

Also worth watching Elliott's Pour Les Filles, who beat Mullins's Did I Ask You That in what is normally a good bumper at Leopardstown on December 26. The margin was a neck, and both would need to run once more to be in contention.

The leading British-trained hope on trends is Queens Gamble, a mare who has won twice by wide margins at Cheltenham for Oliver Sherwood, though has not run since November.

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2022 Cheltenham Champion Bumper Result

Position Name Price Trainer Jockey
1st Facile Vega 15/8f Willie Mullins Patrick Mullins
2nd American Mike 5/2 Gordon Elliott Jamie Codd
3rd James's Gate 16/1 Willie Mullins Sean O'Keeffe

About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.