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Have Confidence With Might Bite To Retain Crown In King GeorgePosted on Thursday 20th December 2018 @ 11.57

A fascinating renewal of Kempton's feature race sees a Nicky Henderson runner at the head of the market.

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Might Bite is set to return to action later this month in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, where he will be defending the crown he won in 2017 when he prevailed in the Grade One contest after finishing ahead of Double Shuffle and Tea For Two respectively at the Surrey racecourse.

Nicky Henderson’s runner, who was the leading novice chase in his division in the 2016/17 campaign with success coming in the RSA Chase, was expected to build upon his King George win at the Cheltenham Festival in the Gold Cup, however, despite a fantastic run, he just found Native River better than him on the day.

The nine-year-old chaser could be set for a big season now he has the experience of jumping fences under his belt. Unfortunately it did not start with victory on his seasonal reappearance at Haydock in the first leg of the Chase Triple Crown, however, he may just have needed that run therefore we should see the best of him again at Kempton, where his King George odds are 11/4.

Might Bite has run well on a number of occasion on Boxing Day as, not only did he score last year, in 2016 he was a long way clear of his rivals approaching the last fence in the Kauto Star Novices’ Stakes before an error cost him the race. Since then, he has prevailed in six of his eight starts and has completed the course on each occasion.

The biggest challenge to Might Bite this year could come from Waiting Patiently who has not been on a racecourse since February due to an injury. Before he was ruled out of action, Ruth Jefferson’s horse proved he was good enough at the top level as he won the Ascot Chase, beating the likes of Cue Card and Top Notch in an excellent performance.

Although Waiting Patiently is clearly a horse to follow for the future, it is a big ask to expect him to return to his best in the King George after such a lengthy lay-off. Until we see him on the racecourse, we can’t take it on trust that he will be right back to his best.

It is unclear at this stage if Native River will continue his rivalry with Might Bite at Kempton. Connections may choose another option for their Gold Cup winner but even if he does run, this fast three mile contest is unlikely to suit as Colin Tizzard’s runner prefers a stiffer test.

Native River ran really well on his opening start of the season at Haydock where he finished second to Bristol De Mai. His team will have been very happy with that run and will be confident he can have another big campaign. He is 6/1 to win the King George and 9/2 to retain his title at the Festival in the Gold Cup.

Boxing Day is Might Bite’s opportunity to strike a blow on his opponents again where conditions will suit which gives him a great chance to become a multiple winner of this fantastic Grade One chase.

Article Posted on Thursday 20th December 2018 @ 11.57

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