News Tom Hogan has eyes on Weatherbys Champion Bumper with Winsome Bucks

Tom Hogan has eyes on Weatherbys Champion Bumper with Winsome Bucks


Winsome Bucks could test his mettle at the highest level with trainer Tom Hogan looking towards the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old has won one of his three bumper starts to date, claiming an impressive seven-length verdict at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting on his most recent outing.

He was sent off a 50-1 shot but easily accounted for Cappuccino Man, while third-placed Genie In Abottle has since come out and won at Naas.

Hogan, who has enjoyed big-race success around the globe on the Flat in recent years with Gordon Lord Byron, said: " He's been entered for the bumper at Cheltenham.

"He was sick last year and is just really coming to himself this year and hopefully he has improved since Leopardstown. He's a horse with a high cruising speed but he stays well, so he should have no problems up the hill.

"Leopardstown gets soft to heavy, but it never really gets to be that really deep ground, so it was OK for him. He's a good-actioned horse and that deep ground wouldn't really be for him.

"We skipped an opportunity at Naas with him and the horse that was third at Leopardstown won that race, which was nice to see.

"We wouldn't really want to be losing his novice hurdler status at this stage of the year, so that wouldn't really be the plan. He has options though."

The Weatherbys Champion Bumper, which has attracted 32 entries with Augusta Kate - who is owned by a syndicate that includes Ant and Dec and Alan Shearer - heading a 10-strong entry from Willie Mullins as he bids for a ninth win in the race.

Aidan O'Brien may seek his first Festival win in 16 years with Aspen Colorado, while the home challenge looks set to be headed by the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyandy.