Blooming Bobs proves worth

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

Newbury

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.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?