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Killultagh Vic books ticket to Champion Bumper

Killultagh Vic was introduced into the Champion Bumper betting at 12/1 by Coral after putting in a stunning display to slam the highly regarded Golantilla by 16 lengths at Naas.

The five-year-old set a strong gallop in the hands of Patrick Mullins and showed an impressive turn of foot in the home straight to leave last year’s Champion Bumper third trailing in his wake.

He will now head to the Festival as yet another live contender for trainer Willie Mullins, who already has the two market leaders for the Champion Bumper in the shape of Black Hercules (6/1 favourite) and Shaneshill (8/1 second favourite).

Pizarro (2002) and Hairy Molly (2006) both won the same Naas bumper before going on to Cheltenham Festival glory, and Killultagh Vic looks to have a live chance of following in their footsteps judged by the manner of his success.

Speaking after his win, his handler said: “He’s improving with every run and that was a terrific performance. After making the pace, which was pretty decent, he really quickened off it. He’s better than I thought he was.”

Patrick Mullins, who confirmed his intention to ride Black Hercules at Cheltenham, added: “He picked up as well as anything I’ve ridden all year.”

Killultagh Vic is clearly progressing at a rate of knots, and with his trainer having won the Champion Bumper eight times is clearly in the right hands.

His victory also means that he meets the criteria of 19 of the last 21 winners, who had all been successful on the final outing before the Festival.

Another plus is his age, as 14 out of 21 runnings of the race have been won by five-year-olds.

The son of Old Vic is also almost certain to go off in the top six in the betting, and that is also a positive as 14 winners of the race have fallen into that category.