Might Bite back at Sandown

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The Nicky Henderson-trained Might Bite, a quirky but supremely talented star in the making, is set to return in the Future Stars Intermediate Chase at Sandown on Sunday.

Might Bite enjoyed a brilliant novice campaign last season, winning all four completed starts over fences amidst some scarcely believable drama along the way.

He is amongst the market leaders for the big staying chase prizes this season, including the King George VI Chase at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The highlight of Might Bite’s season, for drama at any rate, came in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March.

He appeared to have the race in safe keeping despite a sketchy jump at the final flight, only to idle badly and veer across the track. That allowed his Seven Barrows stablemate Whisper, under Davy Russell, to come and claim the lead and seemingly the race.

But Might Bite had other ideas and, galvanised by Nico De Boinville, he rallied strongly to lead on the line and claim a remarkable success. He followed up in more conventional fashion at Aintree, beating the same rival by two-lengths to land the Grade One Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

Might Bite is a 15/2 chance to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup this season and is on course to get his campaign underway at Sandown.

“He should be going to Sandown,” said David Minton, one of the syndicate members of the Knot Again Partnership which owns Might Bite.

“I saw him on Friday and Nicky’s very happy with him. He wouldn’t want any firm in the ground, but that’s probably unlikely. He’d done very well (over the summer) and looks tremendous.”

Might Bite is likely to have the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day as his mid-season target. He currently shares favouritism for that race with defending champion Thistlecrack at 10/3.

A year ago, he had the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over the King George course and distance in his pocket only to crash out at the final fence. Minton is of the opinion that Might Bite will get better as he matures, and also lose some of his quirks.

“I think Scorpions [horses by Might Bite’s sire] have a bit of a quirk but they improve mentally with age and with time he’s improving,” he added. “It’ll be very exciting.”

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