Might Bite may return to action in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree next month.
Nicky Henderson’s 2018 Gold Cup runner-up endured a torrid time last season, barely beating a rival in three runs.
Henderson, however, can draw on his experience of bringing the great Sprinter Sacre back to his brilliant best after mid-career troubles – so Might Bite is certainly with the right man if the fire still burns.
“He has got to find his way back,” said the master trainer.
“There is no point throwing him in there for the sake of it. He has done various things, and we’ve been schooling with him. It’s about getting his confidence back.
“All I’m thinking is I’m going down the Sprinter Sacre road, in a horse that has lost his way and things have gone wrong. We knew what had gone wrong with Sprinter, but he had to gain confidence in himself.
“You have to think the same way with Might Bite, because he has been in a lot of battles and was very good, but last year was a disaster.
“I believe in him, but he has got his own self-confidence to find. The Many Clouds at Aintree looks a possible starting point for him.”
Among Henderson’s many other stars, with Santini ruled out of the Ladbrokes Trophy, Ok Corral may instead be the Seven Barrows representative at Newbury.
Henderson said: “He might come into the picture for the Ladbrokes Trophy, because he knows a little bit more about life (than Santini). He knows his way round the place.
“It is a race I’ve had in mind for him, and I’ve discussed it with JP (McManus, owner) but not in any great detail. We’ve not said yes or no, but he strikes me as the right sort of profile horse for the race.”
Champ, a dual Grade One-winning novice hurdler, is heading over fences this season.
“He has been in good form and has been schooling over fences,” said Henderson.
“I took him to Warwick last week, and he went rather well. It was just an away day with Precious Cargo, and they only jumped a few fences, but they are proper fences there.
“He is a fair way off a racecourse, though. There is no doubt he is a three-miler.
“I probably should have run him in the Albert Bartlett, not in the Ballymore (finished second to City Island, at the Cheltenham Festival).
“I ran him and Birchdale the wrong way round, because Champ loved three miles at Aintree.
“Birchdale will go over fences this season, and he is a lovely horse. JP has got quite a number of novice chasers there.”