The curious case of Might Bite – why is the talented chaser as big as 7/2 for the Gold Cup?
Unbeaten over fences with key trial wins in the RSA Chase and King George VI Chase and an opposition that are falling by the wayside, why is Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Might Bite trading at 7/2? Lewis Jones examines and decides whether that price is worth taking ahead of the Cheltenham Festival Friday feature.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup market is a classic betting market to solve. It’s a case of back or take on the favourite – and opinion on that ante post favourite is dividing punters across the land.
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Reasons to back him
Might Bite has done everything you would want to see for a potential Gold Cup winner. For starters, he’s a second season chaser very much on the upgrade. Last season’s winner Sizing John made it 14 wins from the last 28 runnings for a horse undertaking his second season over jumps, giving the impression that horses without a gruelling run in a Gold Cup on their CV are likely to outperform their experience counterparts.
Might Bite will attempt to become the ninth Gold Cup winner to have contested the RSA Chase the previous year since 1980. It’s the perfect prep for such a tilt. Ran over nearly the same distance, it provides a good prep for horses to run at Gold Cup jumping speed round the trials and tribulations of Cheltenham.
Despite the clear difference in track characteristics, the King George at Kempton still remains the most noteworthy trial for a crack at the Gold Cup.
Ten of the last 18 Gold Cup winners contested the King George – a race won by Might Bite this season as he beat Double Shuffle by a seemingly every diminishing margin.
However, in truth, from three fences out, nothing looked likely to get to the winner, who put the race to bed in fine style after an spring-heeled round of jumping.
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Reasons to take him on
Although his RSA victory was littered with drama as he veered towards the stands when 12 lengths clear after the last. It’s that quirk, which he has shown in the past at Cheltenham that is keeping his price hovering well above probably what it should be. There is absolutely no chance of him getting away with losing so much ground once again at the top level.
Nicky Henderson can’t guarantee that dangerous quirk won’t rear its ugly head on the Friday, although there is a chance that the horse may have grown up slightly judging by his very professional outings this season. Saying that, he’s not shown that new mature personality at Cheltenham.
That’s the problem. Those that are willing to put our faith in this horse that ticks nearly all of the boxes for a Gold Cup horse, have to believe that Henderson’s team have ironed out his jinking problem.
And can we?
At this stage, I’d say at the current price, the 7/2 is worth taking with Bet365. Trust in Henderson.
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