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Shaneshill and Black Hercules hard to split in Champion Bumper

Owner Graham Wylie looks to hold a strong hand in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at this year's Cheltenham Festival, with Shaneshill and Black Hercules both having impressed for Willie Mullins in that sphere.

The former has stayed on strongly to score at Naas and Fairyhouse and is a half-brother to the useful Far Cry, who won eight times on the Flat before going on to finish fifth in the Neptune in a brief hurdling career.

The latter has so far prevailed in a Dromahane point-to-point prior to landing National Hunt Flat races at Punchestown and Gowran Park under rules, leaving jockey Patrick Mullins with a tough choice on his hands next month.

"I'm looking forward to my bumper horses Shaneshill and Black Hercules," Wylie told At The Races. "Both are exciting individuals but I think Black Hercules would prefer much softer ground than Shaneshill.

"Shaneshill does seem to have a good turn of speed towards the end of the race, so I think it will be very ground dependant. If it comes up fairly soft, then I think Black Hercules would have a good chance.

"Shaneshill has run on soft ground as well, but we think he's better on better ground. It will be a difficult decision for the jockey to choose. I'm just happy I've got two with very good chances and will look forward to the race."

Mullins is always the man to watch out for in the Champion Bumper and will be chasing a ninth victory in this contest following recent victories for Champagne Fever and Briar Hill.

Wither or Which (1996), Florida Pearl (1997), Alexander Banquet (1998), Joe Cullen (2000), Missed That (2005) and Cousin Vinny (2008) were other successful entries sent across the Irish sea by that handler.


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Shaneshill and Black Hercules hard to split in Champion Bumper

Owner Graham Wylie looks to hold a strong hand in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at this year's Cheltenham Festival, with Shaneshill and Black Hercules both having impressed for Willie Mullins in that sphere.

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