Champion Bumper Tips: Two against the Mullins battalion

 | March 12 | 

6 mins read

Champion Bumper Tips

The only race at the Cheltenham Festival run without jumps is the Champion Bumper - a breeding ground for future stars and the final race on day two of the meeting. It's a race the Festival's all-time leading trainer Willie Mullins has won a record-breaking 12 times, and you have to go back to 2016 and Ballyandy for Nigel Twiston-Davies to find the most recent British-trained scorer.

A field of 24 are set to contest the latest instalment and we've got a couple of Champion Bumper tips for you to mull over.

Champion Bumper Tips

  • Jalon D'Oudairies @ 6/1
  • Royal Infantry e/w (6 places) @ 28/1

Argento Boy (Willie Mullins/Brian Hayes)

A half-brother to the 2013 Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill, he looked a decent prospect when scoring on his racecourse bow at Fairyhouse in January.

Bill Joyce (Jonjo O'Neill/Jonjo O'Neill Jr)

Point winner is now 2-2 under Rules after wins at Warwick and Exeter. Plenty to spare in both instances and this £225,000 buy looks worthy of his place in the line-up.

C'est Ta Chance (Willie Mullins/Daryl Jacob)

Point winner came clear with William Munny (won again since) on Rules bow at Navan in January and lost out only in a head-bob. Plenty scope for more.

Cantico (Willie Mullins/Paul Townend)

Joins Argento Boy in carrying the Al Boum Photo silks here and has Paul Townend in the saddle. Opened his account at the second time of asking at Navan on heavy going last month.

Celtic Dino (Sam Thomas/Sam Twiston-Davies)

Well-related individual, made a winning start in an Ascot bumper in November and finished third back there before Christmas in a Listed contest.

Farland (Paul Nicholls/Freddie Gingell)

Ran fourth in a bumper at the Punchestown Festival last season for Sean Doyle and now with Britain's champion trainer, scoring at the second attempt for this handler last month at Fakenham.

Fishery Lane (Willie Mullins/Michael O'Sullivan)

Chased home stablemate Coco Masterpiece on debut at Thurles last month, beaten a half-length at the line. Will need to step forward considerably on that showing.

Jalon D'oudairies (Gordon Elliott/Jack Kennedy)

One of three for Gordon Elliott as he seeks a third win in this race since 2017, and the choice of Jack Kennedy. Winning pointer is 2-2 in bumpers after successes at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown over Christmas and looks a classy prospect for an ownership that haven't always targeted this contest.

Jasmin De Vaux (Willie Mullins/Patrick Mullins)

One of an incredible nine for WP Mullins in this contest and the choice of Patrick Mullins, who knows the yard's bumper contenders better than anyone. Very impressive Naas debut winner in January and there should be lots more to come.

Kingston Pride (Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville)

Runner-up to Tripoli Flyer at Lingfield (AW) in January on debut and has scope for progress now, albeit Nicky Henderson has never sent out a winner of this race in his four decades in the training ranks.

Quebecois (Paul Nicholls/Lorcan Williams)

Runner-up in sole point start and made no mistake on Rules bow at Exeter in December for Paul Nicholls, that form is nothing special but he may well improve plenty for it.

Romeo Coolio (Gordon Elliott/Keith Donoghue)

Kayf Tara gelding cost £420,000 on the back of point win and got off to the perfect start under Rules when scoring at Fairyhouse in January, repelling a next-time-out winner.

Royal Infantry (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton)

Exciting prospect for Team Skelton after winning bumpers at Doncaster and Newbury in January/February, latterly in Listed company and with plenty up his sleeve. Has scope for better and hold-up style possibly beneficial.

Sixmilebridge (Ben Pauling/Kielan Wood)

Readily justified favouritism with a smooth success at Sandown on his first go under Rules and this £100,000 purchase should have more to offer.

Sounds Victorious (Willie Mullins/Sean O'Keefe)

Another for the Mullins camp, he won a Punchestown bumper last month by a slender margin on second start under Rules and has much more on his plate here.

Teeshan (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden)

Westerner gelding easily bagged his sole start in points and similar story when very well touted ahead of last month's Rules bow at Exeter. Top prospect for the champion trainer but the Ditcheat supremo has never won this race.

The Yellow Clay (Gordon Elliott/Jordan Gainford)

Winner of bumpers at Leopardstown and Limerick last spring, latterly in Listed class, and may have needed the run in last month's Dublin Racing Festival comeback when he finished fourth in a Grade 2.

Tripoli Flyer (Fergal O'Brien/Paddy Brennan)

Well held on debut at Chepstow in the autumn but improved to score at Lingfield in January, on the Polytrack, when holding off Kingston Pride. This is more demanding but from a respected source.

Union Avenue (James Moffatt/Danny McMenamin)

Won bumpers at Kelso and Aintree either side of Christmas but stepped up in class at Newbury last month and Royal Infantry had his number as he finished fourth.

You Oughta Know (Willie Mullins/Danny Mullins)

Winner at Kilbeggan and Galway last summer and got closest to the impressive Jeroboam Machin at last month's DRF in a Grade 2 with some of these behind. Decent level of form and could have a say.

Fleur Au Fusil (Willie Mullins/Jody Townend)

Mare is 2-2 under Rules after wins at Naas and Leopardstown, latterly when bagging a Grade 2 against her own sex at last month's DRF under this rider. Wears a first-time hood today and is not one to overlook hastily.

Junta Marvel (Willie Mullins/Rachael Blackmore)

The final piece of the Mullins jigsaw and the mount of Rachael Blackmore, who won this race in 2021 on Sir Gerhard for the yard. 2-2 in bumpers, including Punchestown Grade 3 Mares event last spring but has a 322-day absence to defy now.

Dirty Den (Syd Hosie/Michael Nolan)

Won a Huntingdon bumper in November for Nigel Twiston-Davies and ran well (second) in two more including here. Stopped alarmingly on debut for this yard at Newbury in the Royal Infantry race, however, and plenty to prove now.

Stavvy (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Bryony Frost)

Gelding by Roaring Lion was a fair way behind Royal Infantry on debut at Doncaster in January but has improved in two starts since, winning at Southwell last month from the front. Stepping into the big league now.

Verdict

The Willie Mullins squad has extraordinary depth, as always, and overlooking them could be folly. Jasmin De Vaux got the nod from Patrick Mullins, a record three-time winner of this race, but even he concedes it is hard to know if he's on the best of the Closutton brigade.

An alternative is certainly JALON D'OUDAIRIES for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown, who haven't always been keen to go for this race. He's impressed in both wins and put away a good yardstick in Redemption Day at Christmas, while the team at Cullentra House seemingly believe he is the real deal.

Jalon D'Oudairies to win the 17.30 Cheltenham at 6-1

Teeshan leads the British contingent for Paul Nicholls on paper and is a contender but there could be fierce competition for the lead in this and something that can come late to pick up the pieces is no bad thing.

ROYAL INFANTRY travelled like a good horse in his Listed Newbury win and didn't have to put it all on the line to win. Dan Skelton's charge might fare best of the home team on this day and he's a good each-way bet, with Betfred paying six places instead of four on this race.

Royal Infantry each-way for the 17.30 Cheltenham at 28-1

Find more Cheltenham Tips here at Betfred Insights

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