Cheltenham 2018: ‘The better the ground, the better Might Bite will be’ says Henderson


Nicky Henderson (right) has won the Champion Jump Trainers’ title four times. (Pic: Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses).

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NICKY Henderson has said ‘the better the ground, the better Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Might Bite will be” as the weather forecast remains uncertain ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

Might Bite is best priced at 4-1 but as short as 3-1 favourite for Gold Cup at Cheltenham where last year he secured a dramatic victory in the RSA Novices’ Chase when scoring by a nose after veering sharply right after the last fence when 15 lengths clear.

Henderson’s charge is unbeaten in two starts this season, latterly when beating Double Shuffle by a length in the Grade 1 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on December 26 and is reported to be working well.

“Might Bite is in good form and his work has been excellent,” Henderson said. “His work is vastly superior to anything he did at home last year – he’s a better horse this year at home anyway.

“I’m not going to tell you he’s a better horse on the racecourse, but he is definitely a better workhorse at home. He’s been round Cheltenham in the RSA Chase last year and the fact that he was able to essentially come to a complete standstill in the RSA and then get going again, means he must stay pretty well as that is an extraordinary thing to do.

“He idled in the King George, but he definitely stayed and he did go very quick that day. He took Bristol De Mai on early on and he then galloped away from them – his pace is phenomenal.

“The big question in the King George was that we knew Bristol De Mai was going to make the running, it was just a question of when we went and asked Bristol De Mai a question. It was a little bit earlier than I expected Nico [de Boinville – jockey] to do it, but it didn’t take long for Might Bite to say ‘goodbye’ to poor old Bristol De Mai.

“He is a more mature horse and he possibly looks more professional, but his work is certainly better. It is just of a higher standard.

“He has been three miles round Cheltenham and he has got up the hill. I see no reason why he won’t get it [the Gold Cup trip]. It’s not much further [two extra furlongs] and he is another year stronger. The better the ground, the better he will be.”

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