Don’t miss the latest column from Unibet ambassador Nico de Boinville as he reveals his joy at being able to ride Might Bite again
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“Read the thoughts of five-time Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson and stable jockey Nico de Boinville exclusively at Unibet each week throughout the Jump Season. Unibet are an award-winning sports betting and casino operator with over 16 million customers, and proud sponsors of the Unibet Champion Hurdle, The Irish Gold Cup and betting partner of the Investec Derby.”
I’M delighted I’ve made it back from injury in time to ride Might Bite in today’s Betfair Chase.
He’s some incentive and this was always my first goal as soon as I broke my thumb at Chepstow just over three weeks ago.
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If it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen, but I wanted to give it a good go. Fortunately, it came off.
I just can’t wait to ride him now.
I sat on him the other day and he seemed in great order.
He’s a horse who shows you how well he is at home – we think we’ve got him in as good as form as we could. Riding him is a real thrill – he is a fantastic horse.
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Might Bite was so good last season. His King George win will live with me for a long, long time but I thought he was even more impressive at Aintree in the Betway Bowl on his final run of the season.
Then there was the Gold Cup. Going to two out I thought it was mine. It was just the ground up the final climb that found him out – it was the worst patch on the course.
It also showed what a brave horse Native River is. He’s got class as well and this is certainly not going to be a walkover. It’s going to be a tough race and it’s almost like the Gold Cup has come early.
I can see Native River and Bristol De Mai going a good gallop out in front trying to test our fitness first time out. That should suit us as it’s always nice to get a good tow along.
Native River and Might Bite are all set for their rematchPA:Press Association
This is the first leg of the £1million Triple Crown bonus and that’s why all the big guns have turned up. But I can tell you it won’t be on my mind this afternoon – I’ll be just trying to get the job done.
It was great to come back from injury with a winner at Ascot yesterday.
Wenyerreadyfreddie jumped a bit to the left so he tested my thumb as I had to have my stick in my left hand. It all felt great.
It’s been a long month so far watching from the sidelines but I’ve been busy keeping my fitness levels up so I could hit the ground running.
Wenyerreadyfreddie and Nico clear the last on the way to victory at Ascot on FridayGetty Images – Getty
I’ve been flat out in the gym at Oaksey House – the rehabilitation centre for jockeys in Lambourn – working to keep my strength and condition up.
Everyone down there has been superb and I couldn’t have got back for today without them.
I engaged with their physios the same day I had the fall at Chepstow and they got me access to a consultant the following day. I went under the knife soon after and without that kind of speedy treatment there’s no way I would have been on board Might Bite at Haydock.
River Wylde makes his seasonal reappearance at HaydockPA:Press Association
Before I ride Might Bite I’m on River Wylde in the Graduation Chase (1.15). He’s had a bit of time off since running in bottomless ground at Cheltenham a year ago. The ground is the key to him – he doesn’t want it soft.
He was a decent novice hurdler a couple of seasons ago. He won the Adonis at Kempton and went on to finish third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. I also won on him when he beat Hell’s Kitchen on his chase debut first time out last year.
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We’re going into the unknown with the trip but on this ground he should benefit from it. I see he’s had a wind operation since he last raced and he’s in good order at home.
I schooled him on Thursday and he’s ready to go. He’s a nice horse to get on before I ride Might Bite.
Gold Present (2.05) is another who’s had a wind op since he last ran. He runs down at Ascot with James Bowen riding him.
He was pulled out of the Grand National due to the soft ground and we then ran him in the Scottish National.
I thought that day he showed a lot of speed and a lot of toe so I think he could be top-class over 2m4f. I think he’s a nice horse. He wants this ground and he’s fairly good first time out.