Andy Holding has found a 20/1 gem in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
Having won the race eight times, one naturally gravitates towards anything that Willie Mullins enters for the race, but with no apparent standout performer according to the bookmakers, it’s very likely that the Closuttun handler will send over a decent-size team – as he has done in the last few seasons.
One that does seem to have slipped under the radar slightly unnoticed, however, is LUCKY PASS and on closer inspection of his form, it’s hard to understand why this unbeaten gelding is trading at 20/1. Like most of the Gigginstown Stud bumper horses, he first made an impact in the point-to-point field, winning his only start at Loughanmore by a comfortable 14 lengths.
Making his rules debut seven months on, the son of Ultimately Lucky was equally impressive when staying on strongly in the latter stages of a bumper at Fairyhouse, and it’s this race which really does point towards this five-year-old being underestimated in the market for his intended target at the festival. Not only was the time of race good, the runner-up, Avellino, advertised the form by following up subsequently, the third, Any Drama scored by 22 lengths at Thurles next time and the fourth, Sunni May, lowered the colours of another Mullins hot-pot at Leopardstown on trails day recently.
Lucky Pass himself has also gone on to win again since and although he was only workmanlike in the manner of victory, it was still a decent performance to lower the colours of the well-touted First Figaro on ground that was the most testing he’s encountered so far to date.
So there you have it, a Willie Mullins-trained unbeaten bumper horse who arguably has the best form in Ireland, has displayed stamina and a turn of foot in equal measure, yet is available to back at 20/1 – what’s not to like?