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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate