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Pat Smullen continues search for Champion Bumper gold on First Figaro

Champion Flat jockey Pat Smullen will ride First Figaro in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

Smullen has finished fifth on Vigil in the last two renewals of the race and will again team up with Dermot Weld, who also trains First Figaro.

Smullen told the Irish Times: "First Figaro is more of a Flat-type of horse and a bit of an outsider at the moment but the drier the ground the better he'll be - he looks a good ride.

"The undulations catch out inexperienced horses, and has them all at sea. It's a race I'd love to win - some very good horses have got beaten there.

"If anything comes close to it (Cheltenham) on the Flat, it's probably the Melbourne Cup.

"The atmosphere at Cheltenham is unbelievable, very special, and which, for me, is something the Flat lacks a bit."

First Figaro, runner-up to the unbeaten Lucky Pass at Leopardstown over Christmas, is around the 16-1 mark to win the Bumper next week.


From Belfast Telegraph