The Weatherbys Champion Bumper is always the last race on day two of the Festival. It is a Grade 1 National Hunt flat race and horses between the age of 4 and 6 can enter. It is the only race at the Cheltenham Festival which is not run over any obstacles.
The first ever running of the race was in 1992 and the race is currently the most prestigious “bumper” in the National Hunt calendar. The Champion Bumper has seen many top horses run in the race and then go on to become excellent horses over hurdles and fences.
The race can be hard to have an ante post bet on as a lot of the best horses in this race may only make their track debut within 6 weeks of the festival. Irish trainers have a great record in this race due to the high importance in which they place upon the race in the season.
Type: Grade 1 National Hunt flat race
Distance: 2m 1/2f
Age: 4 to 6 year olds
Weight: 10st 11lb (4yo’s), 11st 5lb (5-6yo’s)
Allowances: 7lb for fillies and mares
Prize Fund: £75,000
- Won by six Irish trainers, with Willie Mullins three times a winner – seven other trainers have won in the past ten years
- 5yo have won the race five times, 6yo four times
- Only one favourite (9/2) has won in the past 10 years, six races have been won by double-figure priced horses from 14/1 to 40/1
- All winners had won last time out, two on their debut
- With one exception, all runners had won or been placed in every race they had contested
- Nine winners had won over the distance, including two C&D winners