15:30 Cheltenham Fri 16 March 2018
Last Year's Winner
|T: Mrs J HarringtonJ: R M Power|
Might Bite (4/1), Our Duke (9/2), Native River (5/1), Definitly Red (8/1), Killultagh Vic (8/1), Road To Respect (9/1), Total Recall (14/1), Edwulf (20/1), Minella Rocco (20/1), Outlander (20/1), Djakadam (25/1), American (25/1), Anibale Fly (33/1), Double Shuffle (33/1), Bachasson (33/1), Tea For Two (50/1), Saphir Du Rheu (66/1), Shantou Flyer (100/1)
- Definitly Red
- Might Bite
- Our Duke
Nicky Henderson - Might Bite
"I'm not going to tell you he's a better horse on the racecourse, but he is definitely a better work horse at home.
"He's been round Cheltenham in the RSA Chase last year. The fact that he was able to essentially come to a complete standstill in the RSA and then get going again means he must stay pretty well, as that is an extraordinary thing to do.
"He idled in the King George, but he definitely stayed and he did go very quick that day. He is a more mature horse and he possibly looks more professional, but his work is certainly better. It is just of a higher standard.
"He has been three miles round Cheltenham and he has got up the hill. I see no reason why he won't get it. It's not much further and he is another year stronger.
"The good thing about Might Bite is you never know what course he will go on - it's up to him. He hasn't run since Kempton but that has been on purpose as he needs to be fresh, he's just that sort of horse.
"You've got to be careful with him, like a few by his sire Scorpion, and I think that is how he likes it. He used to kill his races a long way out, but some were disappointed at Kempton. I think that is because the pace he had to go early to take on Bristol De Mai might have taken its toll. We've no idea if he stays the Gold Cup trip, but I had no intention of running him in the Cotswold Chase to find out on heavy ground. I'd rather find out now.
"If he could do what he did last year, come to a complete standstill and win, I can't think an extra furlong and a half is a worry."
Colin Tizzard - Native River
"We wondered last season if by going for the Hennessy, then going on to the Welsh National and then the Denman Chase that maybe we had taken the edge off him so he wasn't approaching the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the best of form. He ran well to finish third.
"We had Native River ready for Newbury - he had been to Larkhill three times as we didn't want him to get tired, or injured and we wanted him to do himself justice so he was ready for that. He is bound to improve for that run, every horse does."
Jessica Harrington - Our Duke
"He seems to be in great form. We haven't had to do too much with him because the Red Mills Chase wasn't that long ago. He needed that race as he'd made a bad mistake in the Irish Gold Cup and ended up finishing only fourth. The owners said last season we'd miss Cheltenham and go for the Gold Cup this year. It was their decision."
Willie Mullins - Killultagh Vic, Total Recall
"We were worried, it was a heavy fall but he's (Kilultagh Vic) schooled well since. When I saw the reverse angle, it looked like he was trying to be too careful and just unbalanced. I'm hopeful that he'll have learned and will be all right on the day."
"Last time he (Total Recall) jumped one or two hurdles too well and got a bit free, but he was just going his own pace. We decided on Cheltenham because the Bobbyjo was coming too soon after the hurdle race, which wouldn't have been the normal route to take for a National horse. After that the Gold Cup was the only other option."
Noel Meade - Road To Respect
"Nobody could paint a horse that could win a Gold Cup, but anybody who looks at this lad would like him. He is everything you want. He has the most beautiful head, shoulders and depth and strength everywhere. He's the most beautiful horse you could wish to see, so if ever you could paint a Gold Cup winner, you would say this could be one."
Joseph O'Brien - Edwulf
"After what happened in Cheltenham, JP (McManus, owner) and Frank (Berry, racing manager) said we could take our time with him and if he never ran again, that was fine and if he did, then great.
"He was absolutely flying going into the Irish Gold Cup. He was 100-1 the day before and went off 33s. We've been happy with him since and hopefully he goes there with a good each-way chance."
Paul Nicholls - Saphir Du Rheu
"He has improved massively from his first run at Newbury. I couldn't do any more than I did with him before that, but he has got it all to do.
Brian Ellison - Definitly Red
"He's in rude health and I'm really happy with him. Danny (Cook) always felt he was going to win the Cotswold Chase. If Danny can get him into a good rhythm, he'll run his race. Obviously it's going to be competitive. To have a horse like him going for the Gold Cup is every trainer's dream."
Log in for access to this exclusive content.
With National Hunt racing hit hard by the latest cold snap, our nap for Monday runs on the all-weather at Lingfield.
Nick Grant previews the pick of Monday's action, as well as providing a selection for every race in the UK and Ireland.
A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed.