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Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper tips (1730): Cantico spearheads Willie Mullins eight-strong challenge

The Grade 1 action continues right up to the final race of day two, with the Champion Bumper often producing winners that go on to bigger and better things when they try their hand over obstacles.

Cheltenham 17:30:  Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2 miles 87 yards)

With 21 runners to choose from, this has all the hallmarks of a betting minefield, although it’s worth noting that four of the last five winners have been priced 7/2 or less (Willie Mullins’ 11/1 shot Ferny Hollow being the exception in 2020.

If the bookies have things right again, then all signs point to Gordon Elliott’s Jalon D’Oudairies, who appears to have been targeted for this after landing both of his bumper outings in December with room to spare.

Planet Sport Bet: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Teeshan finishes in the first 4 places , get a £5 Free Bet!

Mullins saddles no fewer than eight contenders this year, so we would expect his leading jockey Paul Townend to have had first pick, which makes Cantico an interesting prospect at a decent price.

The five-year-old won his only points outing and had plenty in hand when scoring on his second bumper attempt at Navan last month, and Townend’s presence could bring out the extra required here.

Suggested bet: Cantico each-way in the 17:30 at Cheltenham (Champion Bumper)

 

Paul Nicholls doesn’t have a great record in this, but that might improve with Teeshan, whom Harry Cobden chose to ride ahead of stablemate Quebecois, and our Planet Sport Bet ambassador thinks that both have a decent shout here.

READ MORE: Harry Cobden’s Planet Sport Bet Blog - some great chances on Day Two

Pushing the boat out further, we find Bill Joyce, who is the O’Neill yard’s only representative and might just be flying under the radar at a hefty price. 

He produced an eye-catching performance on debut at Warwick in January, making all and then finding extra when challenged on the run-in to win with four lengths in hand.

The same tactic worked at Exeter last time out 19 days ago, when he again led boldly from the front, carrying a penalty in style to land the odds eight lengths clear of an equally strongly-fancied Nicholls-Cobden charge.

This will be more competitive, of course, and he might not be granted the early lead so readily by Grade 1 company, but for anyone who at least wants to see their selection taking the race on and being mentioned by the ITV commentators, then Bill Joyce shouldn’t disappoint.

Suggested bet: Bill Joyce each-way in the 17:30 at Cheltenham (Champion Bumper)

 

Champion Bumper key stats

Top 3 trainers (last 20 years)

  • Willie Mullins - 84 runners, 8 winners and 11 places
  • Gordon Elliott - 13 runners, 2 winners and 2 places
  • Philip Hobbs - 13 runners, 1 winner and 2 places

Top 3 jockeys (last 20 years)

  • Patrick Mullins - 14 rides, 3 winners and 2 places
  • JJ Codd - 6 rides, 2 winners and 2 places
  • Paul Townend - 10 rides, 1 winner and 2 places

Past 5 winners of the Champion Bumper

  • 2019 Envoi Allen 2/1F
  • 2020 Ferny Hollow 11/1 
  • 2021 Sir Gerhard 85/40
  • 2022 Facile Vega 15/8F
  • 2023 A Dream To Share 7/2

Britain v Ireland

  • Ireland - 16 winners, 25 places from 199 runners
  • Britain - 4 winners, 15 places from 237 runners

READ MORE: Cheltenham Festival ITV racing tips: Best bets for Day Two on Wednesday March 13

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