What happened in the Weatherby’s Champion Bumper 2020?

Winner: Ferny Hollow

It took the Cheltenham Festival’s winningmost trainer Willie Mullins until halfway through the 2020 meeting to get a victory on the board when Ferny Hollow led home a one-two in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at odds of 11/1. The question about this horse – owned by Cheveley Park Stud who topped and tailed the Ladies Day card thanks to earlier success with Envoi Allen in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – surrounded his maturity level.

Ferny Hollow had proved difficult to get settled in his previous races, but any past keenness wasn’t evident as he secured a record tenth Weatherbys Champion Bumper success for County Carlow handler Mullins. After being held-up by stable jockey Paul Townend, the five-year-old started to make headway when denied a clear run three furlongs from home, but led halfway up the Cheltenham hill and ran on well under a drive to beat stable companion Appreciate It, who sent off the 15/8 favourite, by 2 1/2 lengths.

Mullins’ son and amateur jockey Patrick rides most of the bumper horses in their races throughout the season, but was somewhat embarrassed by his decision to ditch Ferny Hollow for the runner-up who pulled 3 1/4 lengths clear of Gordon Elliott trained mare Queens Brook at 6/1. The best of the British horses in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper was 16/1 shot Third Time Lucki for Dan and Harry Skelton, beaten just a neck behind in fourth.

Now that Ferny Hollow has learned to settle better, he looks a very smart prospect for novice hurdles next season. Although bumper horses can want further than two miles and this horse comes from a point-to-point background, he has earned a 16/1 first-show quote for the 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the next Cheltenham Festival.

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Page Contents

Best Betting Sites



Betting Offers

Betting Guide


Stats & Trends

Past Winners



Date: March 17, 2021


Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Hurdle Race


Distance: 2 Miles and 87 Yards


Age Of The Horse: 4-6 Years Old


2019 Past Winner: Envoi Allen


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Weatherbys Champion Bumper 2021 Tips

Appreciate It (15/8)

The price of current short-priced favourite Appreciate It from the Willie Mullins yard ultimately depends on how well the bookmakers have done on day two, as they’ll be out to get it if they are in front and yet will cram the price to perhaps less even that it’s current 2/1 should they be looking to bring money back in after a poor day.

He may yet prove to be a real star in the bumper sphere before going over hurdles, but his odds are frankly unappealing in such a competitive race and so instead at small stakes it is advised you take a chance on the mare of Gordon Elliott’s yard, QUEENS BROOK.


Having won ever so easily on her sole start under rules at Gowran Park, Queens Brook showed herself too to be a potential superstar of the game and with the allowance given for mares she may have enough to throw it down to the favourite, especially in these soft conditions which she appears to thrive in.

Ferny Hollow of the Willie Mullins stable for last year’s winning owners Cheveley Park Stud can run into a place as well, but at 9/1 we stick with the mount of underrated jockey Jamie Codd.

Weatherby’s Champion Bumper Tip: QUEENS BROOK


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Weatherbys Champion Bumper 2021 Ante Post Preview

Preview By Frank Monkhouse

Preview By Frank Monkhouse

Former professional boxer who is now a content writer specialising in sports and betting. Has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Coral and Betfair covering all manner of sports, from boxing and football to horse racing. A student of the formbook, he loved stats, trends, numbers and how they can guide punters towards a winner.

Plenty of time for backers to organise and prepare their bets. Major online bookmakers have drawn up an antepost market covering the race and you can get your cash down early and support the runner you believe will win the lion’s share of a whopping £75,000 prize pot.

This event was first run back in 1992 so there’s plenty for followers of the stats to go on here. The below preview arms readers with everything they need to know about the race before parting with their hard-earned cash and placing a bet. We have taken a closer look at the major players in the early betting before turning our attentions to the race stats and trends.

There’s also a handy betting guide you should keep close when preparing your punts. This is designed to help you beat the bookies and profit from one of the standout races of the Prestbury Park festival. Who will come out on top in March?

Antepost Key Runners & Favourites

Modern betting often allows backers to make their predictions months in advance of the event. Antepost markets became available for the biggest and best races at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival almost as soon as the 2020 results were added to the book.

This gives us the chance to nail down a better price on our bets than the odds available to those betting on the week or even the day of the contest. The potential prizes may be more appealing but antepost betting comes with an increased risk. When getting your stake money down on a horse to win the 2021 Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper, for example, you are not only saying your pick will win the race, you are also gambling on the fact it will run in the race.

Antepost betting markets often mention the same horse in two or three different events at the festival and the reason for that is we just don’t know which races a horse will be entered in until much nearer the time. You can gamble on a horse to win one race and connections decide in the early stages of 2021 to enter it into a different event at Prestbury Park. In that instance you would lose your stake money, without even getting a run.

Anything can happen in horse racing over the course of a season and your pick could lose form or suffer an injury that could lead to it being pulled out of the festival all together. Again, if that were the case and you had backed it in the antepost market you would lose your cash.

The trick to success when betting antepost is to keep your stakes smart and resist the urge to snap at the big prices, simply because they are more generous than they should be. Weigh up the potential risks against the rewards on offer. If it seems worth a punt, get in early and enjoy the benefits that come with jumping the queue.

Below you’ll find some of the early market leaders in the Weatherby’s Champion Bumper Cheltenham antepost betting. These are the runners traders expect to run in the race come March and go close to winning it. Not only do we look at the favourites in a bit more details, we also flag up which bookmakers are offering market best price. This is vitally important if you are serious about making a strong profit over the course of the festival. Bagging a 6/1 winner is great but not if you could have had the same selection at 10/1 simply by shopping around. We’ve done the groundwork for you and advice the bookmakers who are feeling generous.

Get In The Queue (16/1)

We get an idea of just how competitive the 2021 Champion Bumper is expected to be by looking at the antepost market. The early Champion Bumper betting is wide open, and this suggests bookmakers are no clearer than anyone else on which horses will run in this race and who the winner will be. That’s understandable at this early stage but it’s also great news for lovers of the value who make their profits by jumping on any indecision that exists on the trading floors.

Get In The Queue has been chalked up as the early favourite for the 2021 Champion Bumper but there’s a stunning 16/1 available at William Hill and that’s market best price at the time of writing. Shop around, you won’t find better or a group of more generous traders when it comes to backing Get In The Queue, most other firms sitting closer to the 14/1 mark.

Worth a gamble? Many punters will believe so. If Get In The Queue does make the final field you can be sure that price will be cut in significantly. Act now to get the big odds or keep your powder dry until the dust settles on this market and we get a clearer picture of what the 2021 field should be.

Get In The Queue is a five-year-old gelding trained by the Fry stables, sent there by owners Paul and Clare Rooney. He is inexperienced going into the season, having had only three previous runs at the time of writing but he has won each of those starts and currently carries a 100 per cent record. Was seen winning a National Hunt flat race around Newbury over two miles in March and the work done in the early part of this season will tell us just what to expect from him.

Heart Of A Lion (25/1)

Another at a big price and we’re jumping up to a 25/1 second favourite here, those odds offered by bet365. That’s quite a difference from the favourite but it serves as another example of the fact the money men just don’t know what to do with this race at present. A few firms have tried to get in early, beating the competition by making prices available but that could prove to be a dangerous approach, especially if taking bets from a punter with a fair idea as to how this contest might go.

25/1 is the general feeling on Heart Of A Lion and that will surely lead to a few getting their cash down sooner rather than later. This is one of the instances mentioned earlier where the reward merits the risk and we certainly wouldn’t put anyone off a play for small stakes if they fancied the chances of this second favourite in the Champion Bumper 2021. What we would remind punters of, however, is the fact anything can happen with antepost betting, so it would be better to keep your stakes low until the final field is decided.

Heart Of A Lion is a handsome looking four-year-old gelding trained by Alan King and owned by JP McManus, so is well looked after. He goes into the season with his CV showing one win from one start, claiming victory on debut at Southwell back in the summer of 2019. He bagged a NH flat race over 1m 7f that day, beating runner up Wbee by seven lengths when sent off as an 11/8 shot. He didn’t get a clear run at the finish line but had enough pace in reserve to get home.

Israel Champ (25/1)

There’s a real difference of opinion amongst traders over the chances of Israel Champ winning this race. Some firms give him the respect he deserves when offering only 14/1 but there are other firms out there giving 25/1 and that’s worth looking into. Antepost betting is all about getting the best value possible and if you can enough 14/1 shots at odds of 25/1 you will do well. There’s sure to be a fair share of interest on Israel Champ, that’s for sure.

This four-year-old gelding out of the talented Pipe yard has won one of his first two so far. He failed to set the heather alight on debut at Worcester over two miles last October but went back to the drawing board and returned a better horse, winning second time out at Cheltenham in November 2019. He banked an eight-runner listed NH flat race over two miles in Gloucestershire, scoring off an SP 16/1. That came as a real surprise to many punters, but connections have confidence in the ability of their runner, and they will give serious consideration into putting him into the festival.

Race Stats & Trends

Digging deeper into the trends and we find a few other points worth mentioning, facts and stats that could prove useful when deciding on the runner to back in this year’s Champion Bumper. Pick the trend that makes most appeal to you and apply it to this year’s field…

  • The Champion Bumper leading jockey is Ruby Walsh who has won this race three times in the past. He got off the mark with Alexander Banquet back in 1998 and Missed That ranked as his second success in 2005. We saw Ruby complete the hattrick in 2013 when Briar Hill crossed the line a champion. Will we get number four this spring?
  • There can be no questions over the leading trainer in this race and that is Willie Mullins with his nine previous titles. The popular Mullins has taken a grip of this event over the years with Wither or Which giving him his first in 1996 and Relegate the most recent in 2018. Nine is a stunning achievement and you should keep Mullins horses close in the antepost betting. The complete list of Willie Mullins champion bumper winners over the years reads as follows…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).
  • Age isn’t just a number and we get proof of that when running through the stats and trends of the Champion Bumper. It’s worth knowing that each of the last two champions were five—year olds at the time of winning, Relegate and Envoi Allen. That is enhanced when realising six of the last nine winners have also been five. Look out for a Willie Mullins five-year-old with Ruby Walsh in the saddle and you won’t go far wrong in this race.

Weatherbys Champion Bumper Betting Offers

As we approach the festival you will notice the Champion Bumper Cheltenham 2021 offers and specials begin to flood the market. These are a marketing tool used by major bookmakers to help them standout in what has become a packed market.

The offers are updated every year to ensure they are fresh, appealing and ahead of the game but we can get an idea of what to expect by looking back at promos that have proven popular in the past.

Deals available to new and existing customers you can look forward to include free bets, matched bets, price boosts for favourites, money back for fallers, enhanced each-way and plenty more besides. Bookmark this page and we’ll update the Cheltenham Festival promotions as and when they become available.

Weatherbys Champion Bumper Betting Guide

Take Tips from Industry Experts

You will find plenty of expert Champion Bumper tips and predictions available closer to race time, but it is advisable to do your own research and make your own bets. This may take a little work but it’s worth doing. Read as much as possible on the race, including stats, interviews, injury news and form. This will allow you to make a well-informed decision.

Look For Better Odds

Below you’ll find a table of the offers made by the top bookmakers. Keep this close and you will always be just one click away from placing a bet and getting the offer that suits you.

Enjoy Perks of Antepost Market

When you have made your decision on the runner to back your next stop should then be the antepost list. Check the price and if it seems worth backing, act sooner rather than later. The earlier you get your stake money down the better the odds available. Remember, don’t get carried away with your stakes while there’s still the risk you could lose your funds without ever getting a run for your money.

Get Access to Live Streaming

Live streaming is available with the best online bookmakers and it comes at no extra cost. Watch the Cheltenham Festival on your desktop computer or mobile app through a live streaming service. With many firms, if you have placed a bet on the outcome of the race you will be able to watch the HD quality stream for free.

Weatherbys Champion Bumper Past Winners

Many backers like to follow the trends when placing their bets at the Cheltenham Festival. This includes researching previous winners, hot jockeys, successful owners and trainers or even a pattern of age groups. Below you’ll find a list of the last 10 winners of the Champion Bumper.

Last 10 Weatherbys Champion Bumper winners:

  • Envoi Allen – 2019
  • Relegate – 2018
  • Fayonagh – 2017
  • Ballyandy – 2016
  • Moon Racer – 2015
  • Silver Concorde – 2014
  • Briar Hill – 2013
  • Champagne Fever – 2012
  • Cheltenian – 2011
  • Cue Card – 2010

What Happened in 2019?

The 2019 running of the Weatherby’s Champion Bumper was won by Envoi Allen for trainer Elliott and jockey Codd. The champion was sent off as a 2/1 shot that day and held on to beat runner up Blue Sari into second by just shy of a length. Back in third was Thyme Hill who was another 1 ¾ lengths off the major finishers.

Envoi Allen was given a patient ride that day but delivered to perfection by his experienced pilot who has been around this track more than once before. They challenged three from home and took the lead turning for home. Backers were delighted when their horse responded to the encouragement of his jockey and he soon took a keen hold of the race. An impressive effort and the way Envoi Allen stayed on in the closing stages to see the race out stuck in the minds of those in attendance and watching the contest live on TV around the country.