Bobs Worth Gold Cup Favourite

  • Last Updated: December 1 2012, 16:00 GMT

Bobs Worth is a general 5/1 favourite for the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup after he won the Hennessy on his return to action.

Bobs Worth (red cap) impressed on his return to the track
Bobs Worth (red cap) impressed on his return to the track

The seven-year-old was sent off as the 4/1 jolly for the Newbury feature despite his trainer Nicky Henderson expressing fears about the ground.

Settled in mid-division by Barry Geraghty, he crept closer to the lead turning for home and passed First Lieutenant between the second-last and final fences.

From there he had to battle hard to hold off the challenge of a patiently-ridden Tidal Bay, but he found plenty and went on to win by just over three lengths.

Stan James cut him to 4/1 from 7s for the Cheltenham showpiece, Paddy Power went as short as 7/2, but most firms make him 5/1 favourite.

David Williams of Ladbrokes, one of those offering 5/1, said: "It was the result we were dreading. Bobs Worth was tremendously expensive and the places were almost as bad.

"We'll need a few bottles from the sponsors to help us forget a costly day."

Eventual third First Lieutenant was eased to a general 16/1 while runner-up Tidal Bay was installed as a 25/1 shot with Stan James and he's among the Grand National favourites at the same price.

Earlier on the Newbury card, Big Buck's took his record to 18 consecutive victories in landing a fourth successive renewal of the sportingbet Long Distance Hurdle at odds of 1/12.

Despite having little to beat on his return to competitive action, the son of Cadoudal was cut to a best of evens for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, with BetVictor quoting as short as 4/6.

Williams, on behalf of the sponsors, added: "It's ominous for the others when connections of Big Buck's claim that he is better than last year. His supremacy in this division is overwhelming and the odds now reflect that."

Over at Newcastle, Countrywide Flame continued his progress through the ranks with victory in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

That performance saw the sponsors cut him to 8/1 for the Champion Hurdle and their spokesman Rory Jiwani was impressed. He said: "What a race that turned out to be with Countrywide Flame travelling and jumping superbly.

"He's a genuine Stan James Champion Hurdle contender and we've cut him from 25/1 to 8/1 for the big race of day one of the Festival in March.

"Cinders And Ashes is out from 8/1 to 12/1 with Donald McCain blaming the testing ground for the Supreme winner's failure to reel in Countrywide Flame although the winner will improve for better ground too."

Sky Bet, Coral and Boylesports were among those to cut Countrywide Flame to 12/1 for the Festival contest, leaving totesport and Betfred's 14/1 as the standout price.