Cheltenham Festival 2024: Weatherbys Champion Bumper Antepost Predictions, Preview and Best Bets

As we approach the pinnacle of the jump racing season, the Cheltenham Festival, anticipation builds for one of its most intriguing contests, the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. This race offers a unique spectacle, devoid of the jumps that characterise the majority of the festival’s events, showcasing the raw talent of young horses destined for future glory.

The 2024 iteration presents an opportunity for the English contenders to reclaim supremacy in a field that has often been dominated by their Irish counterparts. Our horse racing expert Herrin Kendrick has found some good antepost value so read on for his Cheltenham tips and also make sure to take advantage of the handpicked bookmaker offers listed below.


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Road To Cheltenham Festival 2024: Weatherbys Champion Bumper Antepost Predictions

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Spotlight on Leading Contenders

Let It Rain: A Rising Star

Among the notable entrants is Let It Rain, a horse that has swiftly ascended the ranks following a commanding debut victory at Warwick. Initially earmarked for the Grade 2 Nickel Colin Mares’ Bumper at Aintree, her trajectory seems to have shifted towards the Champion Bumper, buoyed by a significant win against a strong field at Ascot. This performance not only cemented her reputation but also indicated trainer Dan Skelton’s confidence in her abilities, particularly if the festival ground leans towards the softer side.

Let It Rain’s pedigree, closely linked to the accomplished Whisper, hints at her high ceiling, suggesting she is well-equipped to tackle the demands of Cheltenham. Skelton’s optimism, rarely displayed so openly for a bumper horse, further underscores her potential. This, coupled with the strategic decision to forgo other opportunities in favour of Cheltenham, places her among the favourites.

Brechin Castle: The Dark Horse

Brechin Castle enters the fray as a compelling dark horse, offering an enticing blend of class and resilience. Having previously dazzled at Cheltenham, he faced Let It Rain at Ascot under less favourable conditions, carrying a weight penalty that arguably influenced the outcome. Despite this setback, his performance left little doubt about his capabilities and tenacity.

The current odds undervalue his talent and the minor margin that separated him from Let It Rain at Ascot. Adjusting for the weight difference, their rematch at Cheltenham presents a tantalising prospect, with Brechin Castle poised to challenge the narrative and potentially deliver a remarkable upset.

Champion Bumper: An Analysis

The Champion Bumper stands as a testament to the depth of emerging talent within the sport, serving as a launching pad for future stars. The race’s history is littered with names that have gone on to achieve greatness, underscoring its significance within the broader context of jump racing. This year’s competition appears wide open, with several entrants boasting the requisite blend of speed, stamina, and racing intelligence to succeed.

Analysing the race dynamics, the softer ground traditionally favours horses with a strong finishing kick, a characteristic shared by both Let It Rain and Brechin Castle. Their previous encounter offers valuable insights, suggesting a closely matched contest that could hinge on tactical execution and race-day conditions.

Cheltenham Festival 2024: Weatherbys Champion Bumper Antepost Predictions


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The Case for Let It Rain

In the rich tapestry of the Cheltenham Festival, the Champion Bumper stands out as a beacon for future stars. The 2024 edition is no exception, with a field brimming with potential champions. Amidst this sea of talent, Let It Rain emerges as a standout contender, her lineage and early career achievements painting the picture of a horse destined for greatness.

Let It Rain’s pedigree is not just a footnote in her profile; it’s a testament to her inherent quality. Being closely related to Whisper, a horse with an illustrious career highlighted by victories in the Coral Cup and the Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle, she carries the genetic blueprint of a champion. This heritage suggests not only a predisposition for jump racing excellence but also the versatility and stamina necessary to thrive at Cheltenham’s demanding course.

Dan Skelton’s decision to target Let It Rain at the Champion Bumper, foregoing the initial plan for the Grade 2 Nickel Colin Mares’ Bumper at Aintree, is a strategic masterstroke. This pivot reflects Skelton’s confidence in her abilities and the favourable assessment of her chances at Cheltenham, especially with the likelihood of softer ground, which is expected to play to her strengths. Skelton’s acumen in recognising and positioning his horses for the races where they have the highest chance of success is well documented, adding a layer of credibility to Let It Rain’s candidacy.

Her performance trajectory further bolsters her case. Having navigated through her early races with aplomb, Let It Rain has demonstrated a blend of speed, agility, and racing intelligence that sets her apart. Her victory against a strong field at Ascot, where she outclassed Brechin Castle among others, serves as a prime example of her high-calibre racing capabilities. Coupled with the advantageous weight allowance she will enjoy at the Champion Bumper, these factors collectively tilt the odds in her favour, making her a compelling choice for those seeking to back the outright winner.

The Appeal of Brechin Castle

While Let It Rain may capture the headlines, Brechin Castle presents a fascinating proposition for each-way bettors. The disparity in odds between him and the market leaders unduly discounts his proven track record and latent potential, offering value to discerning punters.

Brechin Castle’s journey to the Champion Bumper has been marked by noteworthy performances, including a victory at Cheltenham that showcased his class and athleticism. Although he faced a setback against Let It Rain at Ascot, the conditions of that race were not entirely in his favour. Adjusting for the weight difference on that day, the margin that separated them narrows significantly, suggesting a closer contest than the odds might indicate.

The current form of the yard and any movements in the betting market as the race draws closer merit attention. A resurgence in yard form or a shift in market sentiment could signal growing confidence in Brechin Castle’s chances. For those inclined towards each-way betting, he represents an attractive option, with the potential to outperform expectations and secure a place at generous odds.

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John Pentin
Born and raised in London, John has always been in love with sport. He started successfully his own blog back in 2006, while writing for football in several newspaper. John has also worked with several betting operators as sports trader and has joined since the start in 2013. John is now head of the content team at