15.20 Cheltenham: Bobs Worth is simply pure Gold
Bobs Worth has a superb record at Cheltenham and looks a rock solid bet to land back-to-back successes in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Nicky Henderson’s gelding is unbeaten in five starts at the track, with the last of those successes coming in this race 12 months ago, where he powered up the hill to beat Sir Des Champs going away by seven lengths.
That was his third win at the Festival following victories in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2011 and the RSA Chase in 2012.
The track simply brings out the best in him and although he disappointed on seasonal return in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, when beaten 40 lengths into sixth behind Cue Card, he showed that running to be all wrong when bouncing back to form to land the Lexus at Leopardstown last time out.
He showed his real colours that day when staying on in powerful fashion to beat First Lieutenant by 1 1/2 lengths, and a return to this venue is very much in his favour.
His credentials are simply outstanding, and he looks impossible to oppose in what looks a weaker renewal than 12 months ago.
Paul Nicholls’ Silviniaco Conti looks the most likely one to chase him home.
He was still travelling well when coming to grief three from home in last year’s contest and comes into the race after an impressive 3 1/2 length win over Cue Card in the King George.
The eight-year-old jumps well and has a good turn of foot, but I still have slight doubts as to whether this venue, with its undulations, is ideal as all his best form has come on flat galloping tracks.
For those looking for an each-way play outside the “big two”, The Giant Bolster looks the one to side with.
David Bridgwater’s nine-year-old finished runner-up to Synchronised in the 2012 running of the race and also ran a cracker last year to finish fourth behind Bobs Worth.
He has won three times at the track, all on Festival Trials Day, and looked as good as ever in the last of those when landing the Argento Chase back in January by seven lengths from Rocky Creek.
The gelding usually hits form at this time of the year, gets on extremely well with jockey Tom Scudamore and looks sure to give it his best shot.
If the market leaders underperform, then he could well be the one to pick up the pieces.