32Red King George VI Chase
Grade 1, Kempton Park 15:15
£250,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m, Class 1  
Wednesday 26th December 2018

30181

Nicky Henderson's Might Bite was sent off the evens favourite on his seasonal reappearance in Saturday’s Grade One Betfair Chase – a race billed as the rematch between him and his Cheltenham Gold Cup conqueror Native River.

Might Bite
© Racehorse Photos
Might Bite

But Might Bite and Nico de Boinville could only trail in a 29-length last behind course specialist Bristol De Mai, who beat Native River four lengths into second.

Henderson reports nothing untoward has come to light in terms of significant injury, and Might Bite therefore remains on course for the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day – for which he is still a 7-2 favourite.

The Lambourn trainer told Racing UK: “He’s fine. It was a bit of a bombshell, but he’s perfectly sound and bright – and there are no injuries anyway, no reason for it behind that.”

There is almost exactly a month until Might Bite must be back on his A game to see off challengers for his Christmas crown.

Henderson concedes it ‘went to pieces’ when faced with fences at Haydock which resulted in seven fallers in Saturday’s three other chase races and have attracted criticism for being, in the assessment of de Boinville, ‘too stiff and unfair’.

As part of the de-brief, however, Henderson has already consulted schooling and jumping guru Yogi Breisner, and is reassured about the way forward.

“Watching it again – not making excuses – I had a long chat with Yogi Breisner an hour ago, because he’s a great assessor of these things, understands what jumping is all about, there’s no doubt to me the fences were big and they were very solid,” said the champion trainer.

“We’ll work out together how we just put his confidence together and I’m not worried about that,” he said.

“Noel Fehily came and schooled him on Monday, and he was brilliant. But our fences aren’t quite what we were jumping yesterday.

“He’s such a good jumper. But it’s all about confidence, and I just think he lost it.”

Waiting Patiently
© Racehorse Photos
Waiting Patiently

Ruth Jefferson reports Waiting Patiently to be “absolutely bouncing” ahead of his intended return to Kempton.

The seven-year-old has not been seen in competitive action since seeing off the popular Cue Card and claiming Grade One glory in February’s Ascot Chase, but he is closing in on a comeback.

After bypassing the Cheltenham Festival, a setback prevented him from running at Aintree in April.

The same injury delayed his return to training, meaning he is in line to make his belated seasonal reappearance in the Boxing Day highlight.

Jefferson said: “Everything is going according to plan – I couldn’t be happier with him, to be honest.

“He’s absolutely bouncing at the moment, so fingers crossed they get some rain at Kempton and we’ll be there.

“There are still one or two things to do – we haven’t schooled him yet for instance, but hopefully we’ll do that next week or the week after.”

Earlier this week Waiting Patiently received entries over two miles and three miles at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.

However, Jefferson insists Kempton is very much his preferred destination.

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32Red King George VI Chase
£250,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
19 remaining entries
Going:

Form Horse Age Weight Trainer
111/111- Altior (IRE) 242 8 11-10 N J Henderson
1154-2P Black Corton (FR) 25 7 11-10 P F Nicholls
11632-1 Bristol De Mai (FR) 32 7 11-10 N A Twiston-Davies
4/2123-4 Clan Des Obeaux (FR) 32 6 11-10 P F Nicholls
123/PP-3 Coneygree 39 11 11-10 M Bradstock
33131/1- Disko (FR) 417 7 11-10 N Meade
323P23/ Don Poli (IRE) 682 9 11-10 G Elliott
22274-F Double Shuffle (IRE) 53 8 11-10 T R George
1/1121-5 Might Bite (IRE) 32 9 11-10 N J Henderson
113/11-2 Native River (IRE) 32 8 11-10 C L Tizzard
2PP8-23 Outlander (IRE) 53 10 11-10 G Elliott
11241-1 Politologue (FR) 32 7 11-10 P F Nicholls
6/1114-1 Saint Calvados (FR) 46 5 11-10 H Whittington
11125-2 Shattered Love (IRE) 53 7 11-3 G Elliott
233P-11 Sizing Tennessee (IRE) 25 10 11-10 C L Tizzard
43P76-P Tea For Two 220 9 11-10 Mrs J Williams
112/54-3 Thistlecrack 32 10 11-10 C L Tizzard
3/31141- Top Notch (FR) 242 7 11-10 N J Henderson
111/111- Waiting Patiently (IRE) 312 7 11-10 Ruth Jefferson