Nico de Boinville will partner Might Bite when he renews rivalry with Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Native River in Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock.
The jockey has been sidelined since suffering a thumb injury in a fall at Chepstow almost a month ago.
Trainer Nicky Henderson revealed earlier this week Noel Fehily had schooled Might Bite ahead of potentially taking over in the saddle this weekend.
However, De Boinville has been passed fit and will be on board when last season’s King George winner bids to turn the table on his Cheltenham Gold Cup conqueror Native River, trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by champion jockey Richard Johnson.
De Boinville told Unibet: “I have been out injured since October 30 – though it seems a lot longer – but I am delighted to be able to announce that I was passed fit by my specialist on Wednesday and the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) have just given me the all-clear this morning.
“The plan now is to kick straight on, and immediately get back in the saddle at Ascot on Friday, where I am on Wenyerreadyfreddie in the opener. And then I ride a certain Might Bite in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
“In common with all jockeys, I am not a good watcher from the stands or on TV, but at least the absence sharpens the hunger ever more, and it’s a big relief to be back in time to ride the stable’s big artillery like Might Bite at Haydock at the weekend, and Altior in the Tingle Creek, to name just two.
“Actually, those around me on a daily basis will probably even more relieved than I am that I am back riding tomorrow!”
Tizzard, who won the Betfair Chase three times with the popular Cue Card, has a second string to his bow in Thistlecrack – who will make his first appearance since finishing fourth behind Might Bite when defending his King George crown at Kempton on Boxing Day of last year.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai was a 57-length winner of the race 12 months ago – albeit in far more testing conditions than he will encounter on his return to Merseyside – and adds further strength in depth to a small but select field of just five runners.
The line-up is completed by Clan Des Obeaux, who bids to provide Paul Nicholls with a seventh Betfair Chase success.
The Ditcheat maestro saddled Kauto Star to win the race four times and also struck twice with Silviniaco Conti.
Clan Des Obeaux appears for the first time since finishing third behind Might Bite at Aintree in the spring.
This weekend’s feature event is the first leg of the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown, with Jockey Club Racecourses offering a £1million bonus for any horse who can win the Betfair Chase, the King George and the Cheltenham Gold Cup this season.
The bonus will be awarded alongside The Kauto Star Trophy, named in honour of the great chaser who achieved the feat in 2006/7.
Cue Card won the first two legs before falling three fences from home in the 2016 Gold Cup.