Nicky Henderson says there is a decent chance that King George VI Chase winner Might Bite won’t run again before the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Last season’s leading novice stayer, winner of Grade Ones at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals in the spring, made amends for his final fence departure in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 12 months ago as he won the big Christmas prize at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Might Bite never allowed Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai out of his sight and he took up the running three out under Nico de Boinville, eventually holding at bay outsiders Double Shuffle and Tea For Two to score his first Grade One win in open company.
A day after the King George, Henderson suggested he might put Might Bite away until the spring.
The Denman Chase at Newbury is a possibility but Cheltenham Trials Days next month is well and truly off the agenda, according to the champion trainer.
“I think the one place you won’t see him is in the Cotswold Chase on Trials Day,” said the Seven Barrows handler.
“There’s one unknown thing and that is three miles two (furlongs) and a bit round Cheltenham. He’s not been that far and you could say stamina is a question, but I don’t see why it should worry him.
“I certainly don’t want to find out on Trials day – I want to find out on Gold Cup day.
“The Denman Chase at Newbury (February 10) would be a possibility. You’d be careful with the ground again.”
Henderson is open to the notion of simply giving Might Bite a gallop or two on a racecourse to complete his preparations for Cheltenham, where he dramatically won the RSA Chase last season despite veering right and idling badly coming up the iconic hill.
“To be honest, you wouldn’t have to run him again before the Gold Cup. It’s not vital that he does in our book,” the trainer added.
“Lots of people are kind and let us take them to racecourses (for gallops) and if necessary we’d do that.”
After his King George flop, Bristol De Mai is now 14/1 to win the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March.
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