Might Bite can get his teeth into rivals

The Racing Paper - - Front Page - by Mike Fran­cis

MIGHT BITE looks all right for the Bet­fair Chase at Hay­dock to­day (3.00).

Nicky Hen­der­son’s star can get the bet­ter of his big ri­val Na­tive River on what should be de­cent ground.

The pair crossed swords in a mem­o­rable Chel­tenham Gold Cup last sea­son where the heavy go­ing meant Na­tive River’s bot­tom­less stamina came into play.

It was a crack­ing bat­tle be­tween the two but the Hen­der­son run­ner just got stuck in the mud go­ing up the hill.

It will be a very dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion to­day where the shorter trip, bet­ter go­ing and flat­ter track are all pluses in the Might Bite column.

He has reg­u­lar pi­lot Nico De Boinville in the sad­dle which is an­other plus af­ter he was passed fit to ride.

Might Bite had one more run af­ter Chel­tenham and it was ar­guably his best of the cam­paign as he landed a con­vinc­ing win in the Ain­tree Bowl at the Grand Na­tional meet­ing.

That was over a sim­i­lar dis­tance to this race and his ex­cel­lent jump­ing will be a ma­jor as­set to­day.

Na­tive River is not lightly over­looked but, un­less there’s plenty of rain, his stamina won’t re­ally come into play. As a for­mer Welsh Na­tional win­ner he goes all day so will prob­a­bly try to stretch them from the front.

What that is likely to do is set up the race for Might Bite.

Bris­tol De Mai cruised to vic­tory in this race 12 months ago and could spring what would be a shock fol­low-up.

It’s fair to say that things headed south slightly af­ter that vic­tory and he was seven lengths be­hind Might Bite when they met at Ain­tree in April. It could be that this is his time of the year and his cup fi­nal but he needs an even bet­ter per­for­mance than last year.

Thistle­crack will still have his fan club but his ca­reer has not gone to plan in the past cou­ple of years and would need the sort of form that brought him the King George in 2016 to have a say to­day.

Re­venge mis­sion: Might Bite

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