Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Might Bite will skip Newbury on Saturday and head straight to the Festival.
Nicky Henderson had been contemplating running the King George winner in the Denman Chase and a possible clash with other Gold Cup-bound horses.
However, Might Bite’s part-owner David Minton said: “As far as I was concerned he was never really going to run this weekend, it was just at the back of our minds in case Nicky felt he needed another run. Nicky has basically always been happy to go straight there with him.
“We’ve seen several potential rivals fail to boost their claims and he’s shortened up a bit without running. I suppose Sizing John is the main danger. It depends whether Jessie (Harrington) can get him back to his best or not, but we’re heading there on the back of a win. There’s no one better than Nicky to produce a horse right for the big day.”
Might Bite survived a late scare at last year’s Festival when, with the RSA Chase in safe-keeping, he tried to pull himself up and veered violently to his right. Not until stablemate Whisper went past him did he raise a gallop once more, just in time to win by the narrowest of margins.
The Gold Cup, for which Might Bite is 3/1, will be the first time he has run at Cheltenham since then.