Profitable Trainers To Follow In National Hunt Flat Races (Bumpers)

Updated: 6343 Other

Many punters of my acquaintance are very wary of betting in National Hunt Flat races as they believe that they are some of the toughest events to assess, for the following reasons: There is little previous form to analyse.

Profitable Trainers To Follow In National Hunt Flat Races (Bumpers)
Darren Brett Tipster Competition Manager

Horse Racing, greyhounds and snooker specialist with thirty years experience of writing about sport across multiple platforms. A QPR and Snooker fan

Many OLBG members who i have met at the course have mentioned that they are very wary of betting in National Hunt Flat races, they often leave before the last race (which is often the bumper) as they believe that they are some of the toughest events to assess, with finding winners very tricky

There is little previous form to analyse, as many of the runners that take part in these races are debutants, or have only raced on a few occasions, either in similar NH Flat races, French AQPS races, Point to Point events, or in maiden hurdle races (Irish NH Flat races only). 

What is a bumper race?

A bumper is a National Hunt flat race run under the rules of jump racing.

The breeding of the participants is often difficult to assess as there is often a mix of traditionally bred national hunt horses who are likely to be late maturing sorts.

Many of these bumper horses will produce their best form over longer distances in due course and are often flat bred animals who for one reason, or another have encountered training problems in their early years which has prevented them from running on the flat.

National Hunt Flat Races

In the UK there around 250 National Hunt Flat races every year.

It is difficult to assess the worth of any previous form, as many National Hunt Flat races are slowly run events that result in a sprint finish over the last few furlongs, which often favours the less stoutly bred flat types.

Bumper Gambles

As the day's events draw to a close, the excitement and anticipation reach a fever pitch for the final race, which is often a bumper and where there are often gambles from the stable who are in the know.

However, one profitable strategy that I have followed in the past is to concentrate on runners from stables that have a  very strong record in these bumper races

Many of the top trainers have tried and trusted methods for extracting the best out of their immature horses, prior to sending them over obstacles.

To this end, the following table highlights trainers who have excelled in UK and Irish National Hunt Flat races over the last 5 years. 

Trainer UK Bumper Wins 2020-June 2024
Nicholls, P F 73
OBrien, Fergal 69
Henderson, N J 60
Skelton, Daniel 45
Murphy, Olly 44
Twiston-Davies, N A 35
ONeill, Jonjo and AJ 32
McCain Jnr, D 28
Harris, M F 25
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Trainer Irish Bumper Wins 2020-June 2024
Mullins, W P 196
Elliott, Gordon 124
Cromwell, Gavin Patrick 23
Mullins, Emmet 20
Meade, Noel 18
McConnell, John C 17
Bromhead, Henry De 14
OBrien, Joseph Patrick 14
Crawford, S R B 12
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Although the above trainers may be useful as a method of identifying potential selections, it is just as important to ensure that the runner(s) in question is fit, in form and will be suited by race conditions, including the configuration of the racecourse and the prevailing going on the day. 

However, if you find a less competitive bumper with a leading trainer's entry, it may point you toward supporting his or her horse. Also, look out for top trainers with two entries in the race.

Irish Bumper Races

Willie Mullins won 32% of all Irish National Hunt Flat races between 2019 and 2023. Gordon Elliott won 22% of all Irish National Hunt Flat races in the same period.

I suspect that a few more trainers that may be profitable to follow when sending out runners in National Hunt Flat races will come to light as I continue my analysis, in which case I will update this blog and table accordingly.

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Major Bumper Races In The UK

Aintree has two valuable bumper races at the Grand National meeting: Mick Atkins//shutterstock

Month Course Distance
February Newbury Listed Bumper 2 Miles 1/2 Furlong
March Cheltenham Champion Bumper 2 Miles 1/2 Furlong
April Aintree Champion Bumper 2 Miles 1 Furlong
April Aintree Listed Mares Bumper 2 Miles 1 Furlong
November Cheltenham Listed Bumper 2 Miles 5 Furlongs
November Cheltenham Mares Bumper 2 Miles 1/2 Furlong
December Huntingdon Listed Mares Bumper 2 Miles 1/2 Furlong
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Cheltenham stages three major bumpers of the season, including the Grade 1 Champion Bumper in March. 

Top Jockeys

P W Mullins is far and away the most successful jockey when riding bumper horses. In England, note when Harry Cobden is on a bumper horse, especially when not riding for Paul Nichols, as the odds may be more generous.

Harry Cobden in hurdle action: Mick Atkins//shutterstock

I hope that readers have found this analysis of interest and will perhaps use the information to assist them when considering having a financial interest on a runner that is contesting a Bumper. 

For further reading please check out all the brilliant and informative OLBG articles on horse racing along with the daily horse racing tips pages

FAQ

  • What should I look for when selecting a bumper horse to bet on

    Look at the horse's pedigree; does it look bred for a long-distance flat race? Does it have a mix of speed and stamina? Look at its trainer; does his record stand out against his rivals in this specific race? How competitive is the race? Does it look packed with well-bred animals, or is it a low-grade affair? 



  • Bumper weight

    Check the race conditions and consider the weight the inexperienced horse has to carry. Weight may affect how a young bumper horse performs especially when the going is arduous.

  • Will the going make a difference to how my bumper selection will perform

    No one truly knows how the horse will perform on extremes of going (yielding, heavy, firm). If the ground is good or good to soft, and the trainer is happy to take his chance, then that should give you some confidence. However, a look through the breeding of the horse should give you some further clues.

  • Will the bumper horse be ready to race

    If the trainer thinks he is ready and has entered the horse, you rely on his good judgement. However, please make note of a horse that is sweating badly, skittish, or disinterested in its surroundings; this could be a sign that it will run poorly. 


  • Is the jockey important

    The trainer may have high hopes for the progress of the bumper horse, so they will want a reliable pilot for their inexperienced horse. We know the top jockeys win more races; therefore, note which jock is booked on which horse, and take note if it is a stable jockey or a rare booking, as a stable jockey is likely to know the horse and may have built a strong rapport with the animal.

  • Should I be wary when betting in bumpers

    Because the horses are untested, this can lead to surprising results. Watch the ante-post market in the bigger bumpers and study the day-of-the-race odds in lower-class contests. As with all betting, please be responsible with your funds.

Responsible Gambling

Whether placing bets on bumpers or any horse race, please gamble responsibly. With this in mind, we have produced standalone articles on this important subject.

Responsible Gambling Features, Function and Help.

How to be Sensible and Gamble Responsibly (Examples).

Editorial Information

Tipster Content Manager Darren Brett was the lead author on this bumper guide, updates were provided by Blog Content Manager Nigel Skinner. 

Darren Brett

Darren Brett

Tipster competition manager

Darren has worked in the horseracing and gambling industries for over thirty years and has been writing about sport for most of that time. He has been the Tipster Competiton Manager at OLBG for over fifteen years, as well as overseeing our sister site, Grand National Guide. Darren's specialist areas are National Hunt racing, snooker and golf.

👨‍🏫 Specialist Subjects🔬📚

🏇 🏁 Darren has worked in the horse racing and greyhound racing industry for decades bringing to OLBG for the last 20 years a wealth of knowledge, creating much of our content on these sports. Darren also manages our Grand National Guide and is the go-to font of knowledge for the world's greatest steeplechase.

🎱🏆 Darren is also a huge Snooker fan attending many events every year and a regular player in his free time.

⚽ A QPR fan, Darren also follows English League football with a close eye on the Hoops games.

Nigel Skinner

Nigel Skinner

Blog content manager

Nigel is one of OLBG's senior editors with 19 years of industry experience. Today he specialises in researching and writing about the betting angles to political and mainstream news stories and being the OLBG in-house expert on 'next football manager' betting markets.

Specialist Subjects🔬📚

⚽️👨‍💼 Nigel is an Arsenal fan first and foremost but has an unrivalled knowledge of English football managers at every level. Meticulously putting together our Next Manager articles, Nigel can quite possibly name you every manager of every club in the land, not to mention a pretty good eye for predicting replacements when changes happen. 

📈📊📉 A long-time exchange trader and spread betting fan, Nigel is our go-to for advice on the subjects and uses them daily in his own betting activity. 

🗳️💼 Finally, Nigel loves his politics and [some would say] has an unhealthy interest in the day-to-day events in the UK's political landscape, contributing to all our Political betting content and new pieces.

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