key trends for the Cheltenham bumper

Key Trends for the Champion Bumper

The Champion Bumper, the pinnacle flat event at the Cheltenham Festival, showcases the finest emerging talent in National Hunt racing.

As anticipation builds for the 2024 renewal, those who bet on Cheltenham ante-post may struggle to make their prediction as the market continues to fluctuate.

Luckily, delving into the trends of past winners provides invaluable insights for both novice and seasoned punters alike. 

So, without further ado, let’s dissect the key trends that have consistently shaped the outcome of this prestigious Grade 1 race.


Given that the Champion Bumper is for up-and-coming National Hunt horses to gain experience before they go over obstacles, it is only open to horses aged between four and six. 

All of the last 12 winners have fallen into the five or six-year-old age bracket though, as four-year-olds are a rarity in the Champion Bumper. 


Whilst the Cheltenham tips often highlight the favourites, the statistics reveal a nuanced picture. 

Merely three out of the last 12 winners held the status of market leader, underlining the unpredictability and competitiveness of the field. 

However, a significant seven out of the last 12 winners emerged from the top three of the betting — emphasising the value of market positioning when predicting success. 

Last run

The adage “form is temporary, class is permanent” rings true in the context of the Champion Bumper.

Incredibly, a flawless record emerges — with all 12 recent victors triumphing in their preceding outing.

Furthermore, timing proves crucial — as seven out of the 12 winners competed within the last 39 days, showcasing the importance of peak conditioning entering the event.

Course form

While familiarity breeds comfort, only a select few have capitalised on prior Cheltenham experience.

A mere two out of the last 12 winners boasted a previous run at the iconic venue, with an equally modest two out of the 12 registering a solitary Cheltenham win.

Despite its allure, Cheltenham’s challenging terrain remains unconquered territory for many contenders given their youthfulness.

Distance form

While course form might not be that important, distance proficiency over the Champion Bumper’s testing two-mile, half-a-furlong trip is pivotal. 

A unanimous 12 out of the last 12 winners boasted prior experience over 15-17 furlongs, with eight out of the 12 securing victories at this distance.

Mastery of the intermediate range emerges as a non-negotiable prerequisite for contenders eyeing success.

Prior NH flat form

Consistency emerges as a hallmark of Champion Bumper winners, with a perfect record of 12 out of 12 winners possessing at least two runs on the flat.

Moreover, a minimum of two previous NH flat wins emerges as a common denominator among victors — with 10 out of the last 12 boasting more than one victory. 

At least one win is a must, however, as all of the last 12 winners tasted success before the Champion Bumper. 


In the pursuit of excellence, standards remain uncompromising.

All 12 recent champions boasted ratings of 118 or higher, reaffirming the stringent criteria for success in this elite competition.

Seasonal form

As the most prestigious National Hunt flat race on the calendar, the Champion Bumper demands contenders to showcase their credentials on the grandest stage. 

A perfect streak of all 12 winners boasted both a run and a win before heading to Cheltenham, underscoring the importance of momentum and current form in shaping outcomes. 

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