17:15 Cheltenham: Le Vent D’Antan to send punters home happy
A favourite has not won the Champion Bumper since Missed That in 2005 and so the success of a marker leader is arguably overdue here and it is Le Vent D’Antan that seems set to fill this role.
Le Vent D’Antan is 8/1 and is a rare runner for trainer Miss Elizabeth Doyle, who is a bit of a queen in the Bumper sphere.
She has previously had Al Ferof and Cheltenian on her books before passing them on to bigger stables ahead of Cheltenham Festivals. Al Ferof was second in the Champion Bumper in 2010 with Cheltenian claiming victory the following year.
Miss Doyle has indicated that her new Bumper horse is as good at home as Cheltenian was and his sole start so far ended with an easy victory at Leopadstown.
In three of the last ten runnings it has been the highest-rated horse that has managed to claim victory and this honour falls with Golantilla, who can be backed at 9/1.
The Champion Bumper will be the horse’s first since joining the yard of Tony Martin and the good thing for both he and the favourite is that the Irish have been responsible for 15 of the 20 winners of this contest.
Martin’s other runner Blackmail is also of interest at 8/1, almost solely because he took part in the four-year-old Bumper that took place at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.
Wither Or Which and Florida Pearl completed the double previously with the Champion Bumper, while Champagne Fever finished second at Leopardstown before going one better at Cheltenham.
This is something that Blackmail will be attempting to emulate, having chased home Moyles Park previously, who is not taking part at the Festival.
8/1 could prove a crime of a price on a Blackmail victory in the Champion Bumper.
Sir Reckless leads the British charge from the yard of Mick Channon at 8/1 and given that he was talented on the Flat, this speed could be an asset in the closing stages.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.