Might Bite pips Whisper by a whisker after blowing huge lead
Nice de Boinville’s mount was 20 lengths clear on the run-in before a photo finish
Nico de Boinville pips Whisper to the 2.10 RSA Novices Chase on Might Bite. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters
Might Bite defeated stablemate Whisper in the RSA Chase in one of the most dramatic finishes in recent Cheltenham Festival history.
The former was a mile clear under Nico de Boinville, but a less-than-fluent leap at the last gave Whisper just a squeak.
Whisper then suddenly grew inspired along the run-in, whereas Might Bite — who fell at the final fence at Kempton on Boxing Day with a Grade One prize at his mercy — faltered as he hung badly to his right and was even headed.
De Boinville managed to correct his path with the aid of a loose horse and the Nicky Henderson-trained pair eventually flashed past the post in unison, but Might Bite (7-2 favourite) was announced the winner by a nose.
De Boinville said: “He did exactly the same in his hurdles run around here, the same thing happened. Without the loose horse I wouldn’t have won.
“He’s a thinker but he’s so talented, he jumped for fun — he should have five or 10 lengths.
“It’s great for the owners and great for guv’nor, he’s having a great time of it. I kept faith with this horse, I can see why others might not!
“We’ll see (if he is a Gold Cup horse), we might have to iron out a few issues, but he’s definitely got the ability.”
Henderson said: “What to make of it all? It just goes to show why you run two horses in a race.”