The Champion Bumper has an uncanny knack of unearthing stars of future and it is a race in which the Irish have dominated.
Willie Mullins has trained the winner of this race no fewer than eleven times and three-quarters of all winners of this race have come over from the Emerald Isle.
Some notable stats that are a helpful guide are that the last five of the last six winners all ran in the month prior to the Festival.
Five of the last six winners had won a Graded or Listed bumper and mares only have around an eighteen percent strike rate having taken only three of the last seventeen renewals.
Within the last decade, all winners of this race had won last time out.
Previous Winners of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper 2022.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
FACILE VEGA – WILLIE MULLINS
Facile Vega is impeccably bred and has truly delivered on the racecourse winning both of his two starts by impressive margins (including a Grade 2 most recently).
He represents a yard who farm this race and he has to be considered the obvious stable first string.
He will be a short price and as pointed out they tend to flounder here. Punters will be wary but he ticks all of the right boxes and comes from a yard that knows how to win this.
Envoi Allen and Relegate, like Facile Vega, both won at the Dublin Racing Festival prior to coming here and he has to be a serious contender.
AMERICAN MIKE – GORDON ELLIOTT
American Mike went into a lot of notebooks following his win on debut at Down Royal for Gordon Elliott and the Morans.
A seven-length demolition of Royal Romeo was impressive as the beaten runner has come out to frank the form since by dead-heating at Fairyhouse.
He was turned out at Navan in December and an even better performance came as he saw off the opposition by at least 17 lengths.
Jamie Codd is very excited by him and won’t hear of defeat. He is untested at Graded level though and that needs to be borne in mind.
REDEMPTION DAY – WILLIE MULLINS
Another unexposed Willie Mullins runner and given the yard’s wins with so called second strings, he has to come right into the equation.
His sole run to date came at Leopardstown where he ran out a comfortable winner of a bumper back in December.
The second and fourth placed runners from that race have come out to win in decent style, so the form stacks up.
Clearly smart enough and cannot be overlooked.
OUR JESTER – HUGHIE MORRISON
Our Jester who comes here unbeaten following wins at Ascot and Lingfield.
They have shown just how versatile he can be as the latter win came on the all-weather.
Whilst it was a good race that he won, he will need to take another significant step forward here.
POETIC MUSIC – FERGAL O’BRIEN
Poetic Music has done nothing wrong in three starts. She started off with John Butler and won on her debut for that yard at Market Rasen.
She was swiftly moved to the yard of Fergal O’Brien and again she won despite being off the track for two months.
She faced a sterner test when taking on a decent field at Cheltenham on New Years’ Day. Sent off as the favourite, she was as is customary held up.
Paddy Brennan made his move five furlongs from home and she stayed on well.
Much of the attention will be on the Irish, but she is no slouch and could surprise a few.
JAMES’S GATE – WILLIE MULLINS
James’s Gate is certainly unexposed and comes here on the back of just one run. That came on heavy ground at Punchestown last month where he won by eight lengths as the market suggested he would.
The form hasn’t been given a chance to work out as of yet, so he is very much an unknown quantity.
Paddy Mullins who rode both him and Facile Vega last time out prefers the latter but sometimes jockeys can be the worst of judges.
Sean O’Keefe has been riding plenty of winners for the yard throughout the winter and foolish to dismiss them.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2022 Weatherbys Champion Bumper Tips & Key Trends
FACILE VEGA is taken to reverse the recent trend of defeated market leaders.
He won a key trial by taking a Grade 2 bumper at Leopardstown at the beginning of the month where he inflicted a 12 length defeat on Sandor Clegane.
The son of Quevega and Walk In The Park looks destined for a bright future and this could be just a stepping stone along the way.
- Willie Mullins has won this race 11 times
- 22 of the last 29 winners were trained in Ireland
- 5 of the past 6 winners had won a Listed or Graded Bumper
Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication
- 5/4 Facile Vega
- 9/4 American Mike
- 11/2 Redemption Day
- 12/1 Jamess Gate
- 22/1 Madmansgame
- 22/1 Our Jester
- 40/1 Poetic Music