- 1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 Arkle Chase
- 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3:30 Champion Hurdle
- 4:10 Mares Hurdle
- 4:50 Northern Trust Novices Chase
- 5:30 National Hunt Chase Cup
- 1:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 RSA Chase
- 2:50 Coral Cup
- 3:30 Champion Chase
- 4:10 Cross Country Chase
- 4:50 Boodles Handicap Hurdle
- 5:30 Champion Bumper
- 1:30 Marsh Novices Chase
- 2:10 Pertemps Final Hurdle
- 2:50 Ryanair Chase
- 3:30 Stayers Hurdle
- 4:10 Brown Advisory Plate
- 4:50 Dawn Run Mares Hurdle
- 5:30 Kim Muir Chase Cup
Champion Bumper Tips - 5:30pm Cheltenham
2020 Champion Bumper Preview
With no less than fourteen of the last nineteen winners coming from Ireland it always pays to look at the raiders when weighing up the Champion Bumper. In saying that we shouldn’t ignore the home team completely as horses like Cue Card and Moon Racer have been successful.
It was once known as a Willie Mullins benefit and his nine victories back that up but more recently Gordon Elliott has muscled in on the scene with victories for Fayonagh (2017) and Envoi Allen (2019).
The Mullins team this year looks particularly strong and is led by the very impressive Appreciate It. He won a point over three miles and a bumper over 2m4f so this race was never really a leading target until he rocked up at the Dublin Festival in February and turned a Grade 2 contest over the minimum trip into a precession.
There was only 8 runners that day so maybe we shouldn’t get too carried away but in that field were a couple of highly regarded types such as Eric Bloodaxe and Risk Factor. Appreciate It took up the running just after the two pole and just pulled clear in the manor of a very good horse. The trainer was extremely bullish about him afterwards suggesting he thinks this horse is much better than his average bumper horse.
Stablemate Ferny Hollow is highly regarded at home by Mullins but it has to be said he has yet to show us talent on the track. He was made odds on favourite for his debut at Fairyhouse but was beaten 2 ½ lengths by Eric Bloodaxe. The winner is a decent horse so connections were not that disappointed.
Next time out he was backed as if defeat was out of the question but again came up short when being beaten half a length by Forged In Fire at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting. The winner was getting 7lbs so maybe it wasn’t a bad run but he’s becoming a tad frustrating now.
The filly Panic Attack is interesting as she was brought over to England to run at Market Rasen for her bumper debut. It was a bit of very shrewd placing by Mullins to target a Listed race of that level for her first run. She didn’t let him down and came home a very convincing winner pulling clear by 10 lengths. She gets all the allowances here so has to be on the shortlist.
Joseph O’Brien is fast becoming a trainer to follow in the big races on the flat and over jumps and he is responsible for Eric Bloodaxe who bolted up on debut at Fairyhouse at the beginning of December. He then followed that up with a smooth victory at Leopardstown and was fancied to go close in the race won by Appreciate It at the Racing Festival in February.
He never looked like the winner that day and dropped away quickly turning for home, it was later reported that he was lame and all being well will be able to get back to his best here.
The yard are also responsible for Risk Factor who is owned by Michael Tabor. He was beaten on his first two starts in the summer, he started odds on for both so not the best of ways to begin. After six months off he looked a different horse when bolting up at Leopardstown and winning by 6 ½ lengths from Hamundarson, a fancied runner from the Gordon Elliott yard.
His last run when second to Appreciate It at Leopardstown was decent although he will have trouble in reversing that form here although he could be still improving.
Eskylane is a horse to note from the Elliott yard, he took time to find his form in the point field but was very impressive when landing the odds at Navan on his bumper debut. He bolted up that day and beat a Willie Mullins horse by 8 ½ lengths in the process.
The home side rely on David Pipe with his Israel Champ, he was beaten on his first run at Worcester but made amends by winning here at Cheltenham next time out. He followed that up with a victory at Ascot in Listed company and seems to have improved no end for the use of a hood and a tongue strap.
That day at Ascot he beat Soaring Glory and he was already a dual winner having been successful at Warwick and Ascot. The Jonjo O’Neill trained 5yo was quite impressive when beating Kid Commando in November and remains a decent prospect.
Dan Skelton saddles Wilde About Oscar, he was second to the useful Ask A Honey Bee on debut at Southwell and then showed improved form to win buy 9 lengths next time out at Warwick. He really quickened that day like a decent horse and can make his presence felt.
Ask A Honey Bee has now won three times this season which takes some doing in bumpers, after that Southwell victory he went on to win at Haydock by an impressive 11 lengths and at the beginning of February landed the hat-trick at Wetherby. Trained locally by Fergal O’Brien he will have his supporters here.Punters Lounge Tip: Appreciate It 9/4 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet