Preview : Weatherbys Champion Bumper, Wednesday.
First run in 1992, the Champion Bumper has been dominated by Irish Stables who have won seventeen of the twenty two renewals, a trend strongly emphasised last year, when the first six home came from stables from across the water. Willie Mullins has been the dominant trainer in the contest, winning eight times. Philip Hobbs and Colin Tizzard are the only two successful home based handlers since Martin Pipe in 2003.
The Willie Mullins trained Bordini heads the market at 6/1. Having finished only third in his sole point to point, he has impressed in his two bumpers, winning both of them with considerable ease. His last win was particularly eye catching, where responding to pressure, he ran on very stoutly up Navan’s demanding uphill finish to win comfortably. The third horse Rock on the Moor (recd 4lbs) who was twenty lengths behind, came out and won his next race, so the form looks solid.
Another of the Mullins Brigade to have impressed has been the 5yo Pylonthepressure who has won his three races to date with considerable ease. He trotted up in his sole point to point last May, and won equally readily when easily winning his first bumper at Thurles in December. It was his latest race (2m3f sft Naas Feb7) that impressed this observer. Second choice in the market to the highly regarded, Gordon Elliot trained, Space Cadet, to whom he was Conceeding 7lbs, Pylonthepressure made all, galloped all over the opposition, and stayed on stoutly to win by 8 1/2L from the Elliot horse. This performance had Cheltenham written all over it, and it would be no surprise see another similar effort on Wednsday.
The David Pipe trained Moon Racer hasn’t been seen since winning over the course and distance ( gd/sft) back in October. While the form was ordinary, he did win with his head in his chest in a respectable time. Connections have probably avoided the bad winter ground, so this 6yo who won his only previous race, a very competitive Fairyhouse bumper, last April, at odds of 50/1 is Definitley one for the short list.
Selection : Pylonthepressure
Danger. : Moon Racer