Blooming Bobs proves worth

Jockey Geraghty reveals great understanding in delivering Hennessy Gold Cup for Henderson


Steeplechasing's golden oldies are, it seems, being replaced by a gilded generation of emerging young talent. Yesterday Bobs Worth became the latest of last season's novices to put a marker down for this term's senior championship contests with a smooth success, as 4-1 favourite, in the Hennessy Gold Cup.

The seven-year-old was racing for the first time since taking the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March and he has now leapfrogged Sir Des Champs, who has yet to reappear, and Silviniaco Conti, an equally taking winner at Haydock eight days ago, to the top of the Gold Cup betting.

There is nothing flashy about Bobs Worth; he is plain bay in colour and small enough for a top-level jumper. But he is tough, honest, straightforward and enjoys his job, qualities that cannot be judged from the outside. His rider, Barry Geraghty, famously spotted them early, though, having bought the gelding at auction as a yearling and traded him on to trainer Nicky Henderson three years later.

In testing underfoot conditions over an extended three-and-a-quarter miles, Geraghty was content to bide his time as the outsider Fruity O'Rooney and old rival First Lieutenant, the RSA Chase runner-up, cut out the pace. In the home straight First Lieutenant's bold bid included a tremendous leap at the third-last obstacle, but Bobs Worth had him covered by then and forged to the front before the final fence.

In the end, the final challenge came from the veteran top-weight Tidal Bay, but Bobs Worth's youth, class, stamina and 6lb pull were three-and-a-half lengths too good. First Lieutenant stayed on to claim third prize, in front of never-nearer The Package and Hold On Julio.

"He's not overly big, so you can't ask him too many questions through the race," said Geraghty of the horse he knows so well. "You have to just let him build and build. And by the time we got to the last, I knew I still had plenty of horse under me."

Henderson faced an anxious build-up, in terms of the condition of the ground and his charge. "It wasn't until I looked at him at evening stables on Wednesday that I thought he was ready," he said. "It was like a rose coming into bloom. He was thought to be the classiest young horse in the race and in a way he had to win it. But I am mighty relieved he has."

Bobs Worth, now as short as 7-2 for the Gold Cup, is unlikely to take in Boxing Day's King George VI Chase, for which his stablemate Long Run is favourite. "I don't think three miles round Kempton is for him," Henderson said. "From now on it's a matter of plotting a gentle path to Cheltenham, and one more run would probably do."

Geraghty paid €16,500 (£13,380) for Bobs Worth when he bought him, and resold him for £20,000 to carry the colours of a group of friends headed by Malcolm Kimmins. "Nicky robbed him off me," said the jockey with a smile, "but at least I get the bonuses by riding him." The son of Bob Back won £85,425 yesterday.

Tidal Bay's Paul Nicholls stablemate Big Buck's duly extended his winning streak to 18 in the Long Distance Hurdle, cruising home by nine lengths at 1-12 without Ruby Walsh having to engage third gear. The winner of a record four marathon crowns at the Festival, the nine-year-old is appreciated by public and professionals alike; as the runners returned to unsaddle Dougie Costello, the rider of runner-up Reve de Sivola, reached over to pat his neck. But touching the champ was probably not wholly consolation for Costello, on duty at Newbury as one of his regular mounts, Countrywide Flame, took the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle under Denis O'Regan, turning over the odds-on Cinders And Ashes by 12 lengths and in the process galloping into Champion Hurdle contention.

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN (SLD/PMLD) Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...

General Cover Teacher

£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Currently looking for teachers ...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?