Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Cheltenham Bumper Payout !

Cheltenham is on the horizon and a race a lot of people tend to avoid is the Bumper or National Hunt Flat Race run on Wednesday.
I have had a look over the current likely runners and as this is the last race to close for the festival we are presently limited to just possible entries.
This like all festival races is run at a good tempo and I like to have seen at least some form whereby we have seen this already performed.
Willie Mullins is the master of this race having won it 8 times (4 wins in the last 10 years) and he currently has 15 possible entries(maybe more) a number of which dominate the betting with the head of the market being made up of Au Quart De Tour, Bordini and Up For Review. In fact Mullins has 8 of the first 15 in the current oddschecker best odds betting market and given that he relied on just 3 runners in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2 runners in 2011 this race is primed for some ante post value if you can be bothered to put the race to the fore of your thinking. If Mullins relies on 3 again that would leave a total of 16 possible runners at present.

However having viewed the best part of his current possible runners it is difficult to find any that have run at a similar tempo to what they will find come March save for Up For Review who led all the way and at this stage it is really up in the air as to which of his stables runners will be the main hopes and it will probably be whittled down to just one from each owner with entries in the race. Another of the Mullins contingent to have run at a good tempo is Very Much So (25/1) who won the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival but he hasn't been seen since.

Of course he is not the only Irish trainer to have a winner in this race in the past and last years winning trainer Dermot Weld runs Vigil, who finished 5th in the race last year to his stablemate Silver Concorde.
Gordon Elliott has a couple in the betting, namely Tombstone and General Principle. Tombstone wont be going to Cheltenham according to his trainer and his comments in the Weekender re General Principle are as follows  "He is another with a bright future. He had his first run in a Kirkistown point-to-point in November when he won by eight lengths. He improved in leaps and bounds for that and it was no secret how much we regarded him as he was sent off at evens on his debut under rules at Punchestown this month, although it was still a pleasant surprise he did the job in such style, winning by 22 lengths. He is in very good form and, although he has the makings of a lovely chaser in time, he has bags of speed. He will go to Cheltenham for the Champion Bumper".(20/1 bet365)

The home team have had a couple of recent winners of the bumper in Cheltenian and Cue Card so it's not beyond the realms of possibility of seeing a home win again although the Irish team scuppered one of our best chances of winning when the Potts clan bought Supasundae out of Andrew Baldings yard and transferred him to Henry De Bromhead.
De Bromhead has confirmed Supasundae will be going straight to Cheltenham. He had beaten a competitive field with authority that contained 9 previous winners at Ascot back in December (3 min 49.80s) and the Potts family clearly liked what they had seen.
He is by Galileo out of a half-sister to Nathaniel and with his classy pedigree it wouldn't be the biggest surprise if this Flat bred ran on the level at some point.
His win at Ascot was gained at a good tempo and the chances are he will improve further on better going. Barry Geraghty said post race "He did it well. He picked up well from 4f out. I´ve never sat on him before, but he´s run on well and I´m delighted with that". Rio Treasure who had won two bumpers for Willie Mullins was 13 lengths back in third

There are still one or two of the home team that have a chance of collecting the prize so don't give up hope just yet and for me they are  David Pipe's Moon Racer, Philip Hobbs Wait For Me and Emma Lavelle's See The World.

Moon River, who was purchased by his connections for 225,000.00 after winning a bumper at Fairyhouse back in 2014 was the impressive12L winner of a bumper at Cheltenham in October. It was a race which contained a number of previous winners and his connections, despite temptations to run in other races at the festival, have stated that this race will be his target. You couldn't fail to be impressed by the manner of his win at Cheltenham, leading for all but the first furlong at a good tempo before powering away to win easily and at 12/1 with most bookmakers he is a fair price for this as I cant see him being out of the first 3.

Wait For Me, like Supasundae won at Ascot, only Wait For Me was on his debut against 7 previous winners and he was the only unraced horse in the field of 10 a feat only previously achieved in this race by Sprinter Sacre. Only a tenth of a second separates Supasundae and Wait For Me's two Ascot times with Wait For Me recording the marginally slower at 3 min 49.90s. Hobbs may be dreaming of further Bumper glory having won with Cheltenian.

See The World won at Wincanton at the end of January and if you haven't seen this race then get onto your replays and have a look as this horse ran an extraordinary race when winning and this clip is a definite for Question of Sports "What happened next". He is currently 16/1 and he is more of a speculative wager as we don't know if he is an above average horse or that the other runners were just poor - the second Lincoln County for instance was well beaten on Sunday.

Current Shortlist
Moon Racer - Martin Pipe - 1st advised at 12/1
Supasundae - Henry De Bromhead - 6th
Wait For Me - Philip Hobbs - 3rd
Up For Review - Willie Mullins - 0


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