Nicky Henderson has trained a treble on the first day of the Grand National meeting at Aintree to further enforce his claims as the leading National Hunt trainer.
The treble was headed by Gold Cup runner-up Might Bite who made no mistakes in his dominant display in the Betway Bowl.
The nine-year-old has had his knockers over the past couple of years, mainly because of his remarkable attempt to throw away victory in last year’s RSA Chase at Cheltenham.
He has been on his best behaviour this season, and with triumphs at Sandown and in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, he was the 4-5 favourite.
Bristol De Mai took up the running before Might Bite asserted his authority in the home straight, producing a huge leap at the final fence to seal a seven-length success.
“That was great. I went round (the track) this morning and it was soft. It wasn’t Cheltenham soft, but it’s very hard work,” Henderson said.
“I’ve always said I wanted to be mindful with him. He’s not a delicate horse in any way, but you have to be careful with his head and all parts of him, so it was quite brave coming in here.
“That jumping out there was just an exhibition round, wasn’t it? You won’t see better.”
Paddy Power make Might Bite their 3-1 favourite to successfully defend his King George crown on Boxing Day, while he is 6-1 to claim Gold Cup glory at the second attempt.
“He won’t run again this year, obviously, and we’ve looked after him all this time, so you’d have to think about Betfair, King George and Gold Cup,” Henderson said.
The trainer will not have a runner in Sunday’s Grand National after withdrawing Gold Present because of the soft ground.