Past Winners » Moon Racer


The case for Moon Racer is so strong that I am backing him now at 7/1 or 8/1.

There are many strands to the case. Firstly, he was impressive in winning his bumper for Michael Ronayne on his racecourse debut at Fairyhouse last April. He was a 50/1 shot that day, completely unconsidered, but there was no fluke about the performance.

They went a solid gallop, and it was a strong bumper. Back in second was Sir Scorpion, who has since joined JP McManus and who won a decent handicap hurdle at Leoapardstown two weeks ago. He could be good.

In third was Turcagua, who won his only subsequent bumper by six lengths, while back in fourth was Tycoon Prince, who was trained by Pat Doyle then, and who has now won his next three bumpers for Gordon Elliott. He beat Up For Review in a match on his latest run, and he is a real horse for the future.

Moon Racer himself was sold out of Michael Ronayne’s yard to David Pipe for £225,000, and he was most impressive in winning on his debut for Pipe at Cheltenham in October. In so doing, he proved that he could handle the track’s undulations, and he beat Arabic History into second place, who then went and finished second in the good bumper run at Cheltenham’s November meeting, and who followed up by winning on his debut over hurdles at Musselburgh in December.

It is significant that Pipe put him away after that, presumably with a view to keeping him for this race. Horses who come into this race on the back of a break have a good record in it. It is also significant that Martin Pipe, David’s father, is one of only three British trainers to win this race since the turn of the millennium.

He has lots of stats in his favour besides. He won last time out, like 20 of the 22 winners, he is unbeaten, like 12 of the 22 winners, and he was bred in Ireland, like 17 of the 22 winners. Also, he is the top-rated horse on BHA ratings.

Also, Willie Mullins often dominates the Bumper, but there is a real feeling there this year that the champion trainer does not know which of his is best. There are lots of dangers, lots of vibe horses, any number of potential improvers, but Moon Racer is worth backing at 7/1 or 8/1.