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

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.”

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