Nicky Henderson announces retirement of quirky King George and Cheltenham Festival winner Might Bite

NICKY Henderson has announced the retirement of the yard's quirky King George and Cheltenham Festival winner Might Bite.

The 11-year-old shot to fame in 2017 with his dramatic victory in the RSA Chase.

He had the race in safe-keeping but he idled badly after the last and virtually pulled himself while hanging over towards the stands.

His stablemate Whisper looked set to benefit, but Might Bite somehow got himself going again and managed to win by a nose in one of the most memorable finishes in recent Cheltenham history.



His 2017-18 season was much more straightforward, as he won the King George, finished second to Native River in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and bagged the Bowl Chase by seven lengths at Aintree.

Henderson said: "It is a sad day at Seven Barrows as we have decided to call time on the career of Might Bite who has been retired after we came to the conclusion that perhaps he wasn’t enjoying his racing quite as much as the good old days.

"But it’s great that he ends his life on the track a perfectly sound and happy person and on his own terms, which is the most important thing.

"He was owned by a tremendous group of guys who absolutely adored him and he gave them so much pleasure during what was an incredible journey.

"But all good things must come to an end and he will now go off to Charlie Barnett, former Aintree supremo, and enjoy a life at his place where he’ll go out hacking and just have a lovely time, which is what he deserves."

The horse won 10 of his 25 starts, including four Grade 1 races, with prize money earnings north of £600k.

Henderson joked: "It was an amazing journey, but not one without a few hiccups along the way and I suppose the most memorable would have been when he tried to visit the Guinness Village at Cheltenham en route to winning the RSA.

"That was a tremendous race, and a fine spectacle for everyone there that day, but what made it even more significant was that we had the second, Whisper, so I would have been happier if the judge had called a dead heat!

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"He was one of the most amazing characters you’ll ever come across and was the most gorgeous looking horse you will ever see.

"He had so much presence about him and stood out more than anything else in the parade ring and was in the Sprinter Sacre sort of mould.

"The highlight would have to be the King George in 2017 when he was simply marvellous and was never really going to get beaten that day because his confidence was so high and he was very much at the top of his game."

Regular rider Nico de Boinville Tweeted: "Happy retirement Might Bite! A wonderful horse who was an incredibly talented chaser.

"He won 4 Group 1s including this memorable RSA. I hope he enjoys his time with the Barnett family who will treat him very well."

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