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Remind me next time

Every week RacingGav will hunting the Cheltenham ante post markets for value ahead of the festival in March. This week it's the turn of the Champion Bumper.

if you fancy betting on the 20/1 selection for this race, then make sure to click on the odds below to add it to your bet slip to always get the best odds.

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Champion Bumper Ante Post Betting Tips

Champion Bumper

Did I Ask You That – 20/1 (Bet365) 

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My second selection of this Cheltenham Festival Antepost series is Did I Ask You That in the Champion Bumper, who is currently available at a lovely price of 20/1

This horse was one of the most eye-catching bumper runners I have seen this season, despite failing to win. There was so much racing over the festive period that you may have missed this one running. If you have, I don’t think you are alone in that, hence how he seems to have sneaked under the radar and is still available at 20/1. If you haven’t seen it, I’d strongly advise you go and watch the replay.  

His debut run came on Boxing Day over at Leopardstown. He was held up and out wide the whole way. Patrick Mullins had a strong hold of his head but at the same time, the horse looked quite professional and didn’t seem to be fighting him, as horses so often can when making their debuts. With half a mile left to race, the field started to go through the gears.

As they did, you couldn’t help but be drawn to one runner, with the red cap, Did I Ask You That. Patrick came four wide around the home bend but you’d have thought he had sneaked up the rail with how effortless he began to breeze past the field. This was impressive enough but to top it off, he was doing this with Patrick still having a fist full.

Without meaning to get too carried away, it reminded me of the winner of this race last year and subsequent Champion Bumper winner, Facile Vega, when he won the Goffs Future Stars bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival. To me it was on par in terms of being visually impressive. He straightened up with two furlongs to race and Patrick pressed the button. The turn of foot he then showed to put 2-3 lengths between him and the second horse in a matter of seconds was equally impressive.  

At the furlong pole, the question you were asking yourself was – “How far?”. However, as they got closer and closer to the finish line, the second horse Pour Les Filles kept on gaining on him and eventually he got up on the line to deny Did I Ask You That by a neck.

Straight after the race, I was questioning what had happened. Had Patrick pressed the button too soon? Did the wide trip catch him out in the end? Was the horse undercooked? Before I could get any answers, Paddy Power pushed him out to 33/1 and I just had to get him onside at that price (although I’m still happy with his current price of 20/1, hence the selection). 

A few days after the festive period, Patrick Mullins was being interviewed and he was asked about the bumper prospects he rode over to the festive period. Despite winning on Fact To File and Ile Atlantique, it was Did I Ask You That who he was raving about. He said and I quote: 

"Did I Ask You That was unlucky. He's a very sharp horse and if I had the race again I probably would have sat for another ten strides"  

"I came there thinking I was going to win by 10 lengths and he's got tired but he hasn't been in our yard for awfully long. He came to us at the end of November, start of December, and it would be very unusual for us to run one that quickly. 

"I would think there's a lot more improvement in him for his next run. We didn't think he had quite the turn of foot he showed at Leopardstown, he doesn't particularly show it at home, but because he arrived up late we maybe hadn't been able to do as much with him as we would other horses. 

"He could well be the best of the three of them." 

You couldn’t ask for much more of an endorsement from Patrick than that! This was music to my ears. I was hoping for an excuse as to why he started to tread water and got collared and Patrick provided it to me. Given he had not been in the yard for long, it is perfectly understandable why he got tired and ended up getting beaten.

As he turned for home, I was thinking how far and Patrick has confirmed he was thinking the same. With the experience under his belt and the additional work/fitness, you think he could well fulfil his promise next time out. If he can breeze into his next race the same way and he has the same “push button” speed he had the last day but he is able to keep up the gallop all the way to the line, he could be some animal…  

For context, Facile Vega achieved a RPR of 128 when winning the race last year and Did I Ask You That was only 4lb off that with a RPR of 124. For further context, those ahead of or level with him in the market have achieved peak RPRs as follows:- 

  • It’s For Me – TBC 
  • Chapeau De Soleil – 112 
  • Queens Gamble – 118 (she would receive 7lb, so should be considered as 125) 
  • Fascile Mode – 125 
  • Better Days Ahead – 120 
  • Pour Les Filles – 124 (same race) 
  • Westport Cove – 117 
  • Wrappedupinmay – 122 
  • Slade Steel – 116 
  • Special Cadeau – 125 
  • Fancy Girl – 118 (she would receive 7lb, so should be considered as 125) 
  • Barry The Butcher – N/A (Unraced) 
  • Encanto Bruno – 118 
  • Icare Desbois – 114 
  • Fact To File – 132 (over 2m4f, so perhaps best to ignore in relation to the Champion Bumper) 
  • Chosen Witness – 119 

As you can see, his RPR of 124 is right up there with the best of those who have ran and some of those RPRs were achieved on their second or third run, whereas this was his debut. Obviously certain horses such as Chapeau De Soleil have reasons for lower RPRs (everything went wrong on his debut) and they could go on to improve considerably. However, the same can be said for Did I Ask You That as he should improve plenty for his run, as Patrick advised in his interview. 

In a race that is always a minefield, I think that Did I Ask You That is a great bet and that is only enhanced by the fact he is 20/1. If he was to win well between now and Cheltenham, his price would likely be slashed into single figures. I had hoped he would run at the Dublin Racing Festival to follow in Facile Vega’s footsteps but he does not appear to have an entry. Perhaps as he was late in, they just want to give him that bit more time. Sometimes, Willie can take the ones he likes off to quieter races. Taking Al Boum Photo down the unconventional Tramore route never did that dual Gold Cup winner any harm! 

So there is my Champion Bumper selection – Did I Ask You That at 20/1. 

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