There's dash, there's flash... and there's Bobs Worth: Simonsig and Sprinter steal show

By Tom Peacock, Press Association

|

Overshadowed even through what should have been his moment in the limelight.

As Bobs Worth posed for pictures with the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup the morning after his brave victory, it was impossible not to be drawn towards the two horses standing either side of him in rainy Lambourn.

The highly-strung Simonsig and the effortlessly handsome Sprinter Sacre, who brought home the Arkle and Queen Mother Champion Chases which helped to take trainer Nicky Henderson up to a half-century of Festival winners, are larger and more striking individuals than Bobs Worth, who seems to have a modest and sensible attitude befitting of his understated profile.

Gold standard: Nicky Henderson poses with Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth

Gold standard: Nicky Henderson poses with Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth

'He's a real honest pro,' said Henderson. 'He'd go to bed at night and he'd get up in the morning and do his job.

'Sprinter would probably be going down and playing with the boys and girls in the nightclub and still come out and kick everybody into the grandstand.'

Supremely grateful as he is to train Bobs Worth, Henderson would not have remotely imagined when he famously bought the gelding from his jockey Barry Geraghty that he would have been able to reach the winner's enclosure in three consecutive Cheltenham Festivals.

'When Minty (bloodstock agent David Minton) and I were at the sales, we said he was Barry's so we'd better have a look at him,' Henderson said.

'We've always liked Bob Back as a sire, they are good tough horses.

So much for that bucket of oats: Arkle Chase winner Simonsig (left) admires the Gold Cup, won by Bobs Worth (right)

So much for that bucket of oats: Arkle Chase winner Simonsig (left) admires the Gold Cup, won by Bobs Worth (right)

'Anyone can walk into Sprinter Sacre's box and say "that's gorgeous". You wouldn't all walk into Bobs Worth's box and say "I've got to have that horse". He was a nice workman.

'He hasn't got that sort of Simonsig-look - he's very athletic. Bob is just what it says on the packet. I am very good, and I will work for you day and night. And I will never give up.'

Henderson was buzzing around his Seven Barrows stables, checking the legs of horses and fielding phonecalls before heading off for a brief post-Festival break.

He had spent the evening entertaining several of the members of the winning syndicate The Not Afraid Partnership including friends Malcolm Kimmins and John Jarvis.

'We saw the horses home, and went to bed,' the 62-year-old said, perhaps not entirely truthfully.

The dust will be allowed to settle before decisions are made as to whether either Bobs Worth or Long Run, the former Gold Cup winner who took third, will be out again this season.

Terrific trio: Simonsig, Bobs Worth and Sprinter Sacre at Seven Barrows with Nicky Henderson

Terrific trio: Simonsig, Bobs Worth and Sprinter Sacre at Seven Barrows with Nicky Henderson

'I don't know, we'll see,' he said. 'We didn't run in January when the ground was very bad. I wouldn't say Bobs Worth wasn't a robust horse as he's as tough as boots. But he's not really going to take hard, hard races. Aintree in three weeks' time I'd have thought would be highly unlikely.

'Robert (Waley-Cohen, owner of Long Run) wants to pack it in but you'd like to look at them in a week's time.

'Looking at them today isn't going to tell you anything except they're sound or they're not sound.'

Producing his horse cherry-ripe after just one start, when Bobs Worth won the Hennessy at Newbury on December 1, ranks as one of Henderson's finest achievements, but he would rather he had appeared more frequently.

Three 'n' easy: Bobs Worth

Three 'n' easy: Bobs Worth

Gallant grey: Simonsig

Gallant grey: Simonsig

Champion chaser: Sprinter Sacre

Champion chaser: Sprinter Sacre

'The ground was wet and we're lucky having these gallops. Shane, who rides him every day, was always giving me the right vibes, but it's a pity it's come to having to do it that way because we want to run them. That's what they are here for,' he said.

Kimmins admitted as he grasped the trophy that he still could not quite believe he the ultimate prize in National Hunt racing was his, and the trainer could not have been more delighted for him.

'The whole syndicate was started by the late Nigel Clarke, it's always been a group of really good mates,' Henderson said. 'I like to count all our owners as mates, but this lot are absolutely outstanding. Even with Kimbo with days at Hereford with rather moderate sort of animals, he's still absolutely hysterical.

'Everybody will tell you they couldn't be more thrilled he's in the hands he is, as they'll get the maximum out of it.'

 

.


 

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

You have 1000 characters left.
Libellous and abusive comments are not allowed. Please read our House Rules.
For information about privacy and cookies please read our Privacy Policy.
Terms