2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup
The 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup featured eight runners but was, nevertheless, a ‘tight’ betting heat. Despite the prevailing soft going, about which trainer Nicky Henderson had previously expressed his concern, Bobs Worth was sent off 11/4 favourite, but was closely in the betting by stable companion Long Run, at 7/2, and Silviniaco Conti and Sir Des Champs, both at 4/1. Bobs Worth had readily beaten Tidal Bay and First Lieutenant by 3¼ lengths and 5 lengths in the Hennessy Gold Cup on his seasonal reappearance at Newbury the previous December and looked a worthy favourite.
Indeed, the betting market proved to an accurate guide, because the market leaders – with the exception of Betfair Chase winner Silviniaco Conti, who fell at the third-last fence when still travelling well within himself – dominated the finish. King George VI Chase winner Long Run and Irish Hennessy Gold Cup winner Sir Des Champs led the field turning for home and, hampered by the departure of Silviniaco Conti, Bobs Worth was driven along and 8 lengths down on the run to the second-last fence.
However, galvanised by jockey Barry Geraghty, the favourite produced a strong run to lead between the final two fences and gamely forged clear in the final half-a-furlong or so to win by 7 lengths. Sir Des Champs rallied on the run-in, but could make no real impression on the winner in the closing stages, although he did enough to finish second, 2¾ lengths ahead of Long Run, who could also find no extra.
Of course, Bobs Worth was winning at the Cheltenham Festival for the third year running, having collected the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2011 and the RSA Chase in 2012. Winning jockey Barry Geraghty praised Bobs Worth for his ‘great attitude’ and, on his retirement from racing three years later, winning trainer Nicky Henderson called him ‘an absolute legend’.