Bobs Worth provided Nicky Henderson with his 50th Festival winner as Barry Geraghty steered the eight-year-old to win the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The 11–4 favourite asserted his dominance in the latter stages of the race, despite being hampered, and battled hard to defeat his rivals by seven lengths.
Long Run, a stablemate of Bobs Worth, made the running early on to try and turn the event into a stamina test. However, the champion and runner-up Sir Des Champs were equal to his efforts.
Three fences from home, the Henderson-trained horse was obstructed badly by Silviniaco Conti falling, but Bobs Worth managed to rally back and fought gallantly to take the lead from Sir Des Champs half a furlong from home.
The son of Bob Back then stretched his advantage up the hill and claimed Gold Cup glory with his opponents shattered.
William Hill went 5–1 straight after the race for Bobs Worth to retain his crown in 2014.
Although AP McCoy was defeated on Sir Des Champs in the Gold Cup, he did register two wins on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival for JP McManus.
Alderwood secured the Grand Annual Handicap Hurdle, beating Kid Cassidy by three and a quarter lengths in the last contest of the afternoon, but earlier, At Fishers Cross (pictured right) was an impressive victor of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained African Gold pushed the six-year-old close in the final stages, though McCoy was able to utilise his mount’s stamina in soft ground and eventually cruised to the finishing line.
Yet, the most striking performance of the day was Our Conor (pictured) in the Triumph Hurdle for rider Bryan Cooper, who scored a double following yesterday’s success on Jewson champion Benefficient.
With Rolling Star the subject of a big gamble, focus was turned away from the 4–1 shot, but Dessie Hughes’ juvenile produced an outstanding display to win comfortably from Far West and Sametegal.
Cooper was also successful in the County Hurdle aboard Ted Veale.
The Andrew Martin-trained six-year-old stayed on well to defeat fellow Irish raider Tennis Cap by a small margin.
A Cheltenham Festival without a winner for Paul Nicholls is unheard of, so Salubrious taking the Martin Pipe Conditionals Handicap Hurdle was a welcome result.
After the race, Nicholls was understandably emotional and dedicated the victory to the late son of Clifford Baker, Dominic, who tragically died late last week in a car accident.
Photos and report by James Yellen. M: 07889 085535. E: [email protected]