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Risk could be the Value in Champion Bumper

Irish runners have dominated in the Champion Bumper and his year’s challenge looks stronger than ever with seven of the top eight in the betting coming from the Emerald Isle.

Overseas raiders have triumphed 16 times in 21 runnings of the contest, with Willie Mullins sending out 8 winners in that haul.

It’s also very interesting that six of the County Carlow handler’s winners had raced just once prior to the Festival, and Shaneshill (8/) and Royal Caviar (16/1) both fit that profile.

That suggests they are well worth considering, along with Black Hercules who is currently the 7/1 market leader with Coral and regarded by many to be the stable’s number one hope.

However there are plenty of other big contenders for the Irish away from the Mullins team, none more so than Philip Fenton’s Value At Risk.

The five-year-old is currently third best in the betting at 14/1 with Coral, and 14 of the last 20 winners have all come from the top six in the market.

He shaped with bags of promise when finishing runner-up on his racecourse debut to Very Wood in a competitive 22-runner contest at Punchestown and has since scored in good style at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown.

In the first of those successes he readily beat Windsor Park by 1 1/2 lengths, and that one has since gone on to slam some well-regarded sorts easing down by 5 lengths at Leopardstown.

That gives the form a solid look, and Value At Risk also looks to be progressing with each run and open to further improvement.

His trainer also knows what is required to win the race having saddle Dunguib to win in scintillating style in 2009, and the fact that he won last time out is also a big plus stat wise as 19 of the last 21 winners had done so.