Champion Bumper Race Card

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Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race) (Grade 1)

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Final race of ladies Day

The Champion Bumper is the concluding race on ladies day. It is the only bumper within the week and the only Grade One bumper that is ran in the UK and is the most prestigious bumper within the national hunt calendar.

The bumper is the last race of the week that is run on the new course, with racing switching to the new course from the Thursday.

The race is ran over a distance of 2 miles and horses must be aged four to six to run. It is often seen as a steppingstone for future superstars and often a mixture of jockeys can be used such as amateurs and even flat jockeys.

The race has a total prize fund of £42,000 for the winner, which is the least amount for any of the Grade One’s of the festival.

History of the Champion Bumper

The Champion Bumper was first ran in 1992 and was named the Festival bumper.

There was a mixture of sponsors, including Tote and major beer company Guinness before being took over by Weatherby’s in 1997, who have sponsored the race since and will continue to do so in 2020.

Recent years

The race has become dominated by Ireland, especially by Willie Mullins who has won the race on nine occasions, the last of which came in 2018.

Mullins won the race back to back from 1996 to 1998 and then two years running in 2012 and 2013, in a time that he has amassed nine victories and has comfortably become the leading trainer in the race with the following horses:

Willie Mullins:

Wither or Which (1996)

Florida Pearl (1997)

Alexander Banquet (1998)

Joe Cullen (2000)

Missed That (2005)

Cousin Vinny (2008)

Champagne Fever (2012)

Briar Hill (2013)

Relegate (2018)

Combining with Mullins for three of those victories was Ruby Walsh and those three make him the most successful jockey within the race, Walsh’s successes came with the following:

Ruby Walsh:

Alexander Banquet (1998)

Missed That (2005)

Briar Hill (2013)

It’s worth nothing however that as time has went on many of the top trainers have given the rides to the lighter, amateur jockeys, has it is in essence a flat race. Top amateur Jamie Codd has won two of the last three renewals for Gordon Elliot and whatever the two combines with in 2020 must be feared and between was also won by amateur Katie Walsh.

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