Might Bite, Nicky Henderson’s quirky but ultra talented star, dominated his rivals in the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park today (26 December).
Twelve months ago, the eight-year-old dramatically crashed out at the last fence in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase with victory in his sights.
Today, under Nico de Boinville, the RSA Chase victor — who went off the 6-4 favourite — put in an assured round of jumping over the three-mile trip and the pair ran four lengths clear before the third-last fence. The eventual runner-up, 50-1 shot Double Shuffle, put in a gallant challenge and closed the gap on the winner to finish a length behind.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai was vying to claim the second leg of the £1million Chase Triple Crown bonus, after winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock by a huge margin. Under Daryl Jacob, he made most the running in today’s feature race, however had weakened by three out when blundering to finish eventual sixth.
Last year’s King George winner, Thistlecrack, held on to finish fourth, while Tea For Two took eventual third under Lizzie Kelly.
“He was jumping me into the lead, so instead of taking a pull I thought I’d let him go and enjoy it,” said the winning jockey. “He’s given me a terrific spin and I’m delighted.”
Nicky Henderson compared the good-looking son of Scorpion’s presence to that of Sprinter Sacre.
“He has a lot of charisma — you can’t help but love him. He’s so gorgeous and he likes to show off.
“He jumped beautifully all the way and he enjoys doing that — he’s so exuberant.”
Breakthrough for Frost
Bryony Frost made her first ride in a Grade One a winning one when claiming the 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase aboard Black Corton — a sixth triumph for the pair since July.
The 22-year-old conditional jockey, who is attached to the Paul Nicholls yard, became only the second female in Britain or Ireland to ride a Grade One winner over fences — Lizzie Kelly was the first to do so, in the same race two years
Don’t miss the full report from Kempton Park and Chepstow in the 4 January issue of Horse & Hound.