MIGHT BITE LOOKED SLOW BUT DON’T WRITE HIM OFF FOR KING GEORGE
Robbie Power speaks exclusively to BoyleSports about Might Bite, Haydock fences, Jett & more
I rode Sizing Pottsie on his hurdling debut on Saturday. To be honest, we were a little bit disappointed with him. When you look back at the race, a lot of our horses have taken a run first time out. He travelled very well throughout the race, if anything, too well. He landed at the back of the second last and I thought he’d go and win the race, but he just took a big blow.
It’s just the way things have been. All our horses have impressed from their first run and, hopefully, he’ll be no different.
He’s only a four-year-old but he’s a huge horse. We expect him to have a good campaign this season over hurdles and, hopefully, he’ll improve from Saturday’s experience.
It was also Jett’s first run of the season. He jumped a bit indifferent early on but the further he went, the better he jumped. He was just a little bit ring-rusty. He’ll improve plenty for the run as well and I’d imagine at some stage of the season he’ll be stepping up to three miles.
I spoke to Henry De Bromhead after the race and he said the horse was fine. He was bitterly disappointing, to be honest. I had ridden him in Tipperary and got a very good feel off him. He travelled through the race like he was going to win. There was a slight mistake on the back of the third last and then stopped pretty quickly. I’m sure that they’ll have a deeper look into it over the next few days. I wouldn’t write him off until he has his next run.
He’d won a point to point before and a maiden hurdle for us last season. He jumped very well early on and he’s going to improve. He’s another one who will be stepping up to three miles.
There’s no doubt that Bristol De Mai is a specialist around Haydock, where he’s unbeaten. He was very, very good. With the ground being as quick as it was a lot of people were sidestepping him. However, he jumped from fence to fence and he put them all to the sword.
I thought Native River ran a very good race on his comeback run, as did Thistlecrack. I think Thistlecrack was probably the horse to take out of the race. Connections will be delighted with his performance. He hadn’t run since the King George last year, where he suffered an injury. He did make a few mistakes on the way around as well.
There’s no getting away from the fact that Might Bite was bitterly disappointing. I strongly fancied him for the race. I thought he’d everything in his favour – including the ground and a flat track like Haydock. He looked beaten a long way out, though. He actually looked slow, which was something you wouldn’t say about Might Bite. It was his first run of the season and you can’t write off Nicky Henderson. He’ll work his magic on him and I still wouldn’t be walking away from him in the King George.
I rode at the same meeting at Haydock last year and the fences were big fences. They probably were a shade too stiff but, at the end of the day, I don’t think it was an excuse. Nicky Henderson said it himself. I don’t think it was an excuse for Might Bite and I don’t think it was an excise for Native River, who is a fantastic jumper.
I don’t think any of the trainers in the BF Chase are going to be blaming fences as an excuse.
A lot of meetings build their fences up a little bit for the big days. You have to remember that the BF Chase is a Grade One chase with the best three mile chasers in the land running in it. The other chases at Haydock on the same day were very, very ordinary races with a lot of very ordinary horses. That could be a lot to do with the carnage as well.
He has to go left-handed. He does hang a bit to his left and I had to switch out and come around Mark Walsh and Sean Flanagan. It made life more difficult for me. It would have been great if I could have gotten a clear run through up the inside. Riders of the quality of Mark Walsh and Sean Flanagan are not going to leave you room on the inside.
I had to switch out coming down the hill and he just made life difficult for himself and me. At the same time he’s run a cracking race.
There’s another novice hurdle over Christmas in Navan over 2 1/2 miles and that would be ideal for him. I’d imagine that’ll be his next port of call. He has improved with both his runs this season so he’ll have to find another bit of improvement for the next novice hurdle.
He’s a very strong traveler and has a high cruising speed but does stay a lot further than 2 mile 1 furlong yesterday so stamina was his forte and he stayed on well. I’d imagine he’ll be stepping up in trip.
Magic Of Light
She jumped fantastic the whole way, just got a little bit blinded on the middle fence down the back straight. To be fair to her she stayed on well she got the whole way to the line and if she hadn’t made the mistake she would have been a lot closer. She’s run a very good race and we were delighted with her. I think she’ll be a shade better going right handed, it’ll be an advantage to her.
The rain didn’t have too much of an effect, it looked worse than it was. It was still good ground, there was no depth to it. Probably by the end of the day it would have gone to yielding ground but it was no worse.
Walk To Freedom
It worked out great on the day. He’s a very very difficult horse to keep sound. He took the run at Navan the last day, he was always going to need it after being off the track for 400 odd days. It was a great training performance, he went a good gallop in the race and it worked out well.
He’s a horse with plenty of class, always had bundles of ability and he’s a bit enigmatic so you can never take him granted.
She’s very very good. She placed 2nd in two bumpers last season, I couldn’t believe when she came back in after summer break how much she’d matured and filled out. She’s a fine big mare now. Mark O’Hare gave her a lovely ride and she won the way we thought she would.