Kauto Star is the only horse to win it but Cue Card came very close! There is a £1 million bonus on offer for any horse that wins the three most prestigious non-handicap staying chases of the season. Might Bite has the ability to emulate Kauto Star. The horse will not be disadvantaged by any of the three tracks that stage the races and has the scope to handle each test.
The Jockey Club will fund the Triple Crown bonus which will be awarded to connections if one horse wins the Betfair Chase at Haydock, King George V1 Chase at Kempton and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The only winner of the bonus was Kauto Star in the 2004-05 season. Three seasons ago Cue Card won the first two qualifying races and then fell three fences from home when going well in the Gold Cup. The nature of the three host courses makes this such a tough challenge.
Only the very best staying chases can win around the flat left-handed track at Haydock, the flat right-handed track at Kempton and the undulating left-handed track at Cheltenham. Several horses have the potential to win one of the races but only Might Bite can adapt to the different features at each of the three courses. At the time of writing the horse was the second favourite for the first leg, the Betfair Chase at Haydock towards the end of November.
Bristol De Mai is the current favourite for that race and a repeat of last season’s effort will make the horse difficult to beat. Bristol De Mai ran the rest of the field ragged on ground and track that suited his running style and attributes. As the winner of the Betfair Chase the horse was the only contender for the bonus. Connections had to run the horse in the King George but he was well beaten and Might Bite won the race. Speed is important at Kempton and Might Bite has that in spades.
The ground at Cheltenham on Gold Cup day went against Might Bite so the effort in running Native River so close was out of the top draw. Might Bite was then impressive when winning the Betfair Bowl at Aintree on good ground. Native River outstayed Might Bite on the run-in in the Gold Cup on ground that suited the horse’s style of running and attributes. Might Bite can reverse the form on better ground but Thistlecrack at his best could be the fly in the ointment.
Might Bite has won at Cheltenham and Kempton and on the flat left-handed track at Aintree which is similar to Haydock. The horse has the versatility to win over three miles to three miles and two furlongs on tracks with different configurations and undulations. The chaser’s Triple Crown is similar to the Flat equivalent for winning three Classics in that the courses are different and a horse must be peaking on three separate days over several months. Might Bite is the best equipped horse and can be only the second winner of the £1 million bonus.