Bobs Worth clears the last ahead of Sir Des Champs (left) and Long RunPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Bobs grabs Gold to notch 50th win for Henderson
Report: Cheltenham Festival, Friday
Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, 3m2½f, 5yo+
BOBS WORTH brought up a half century of winners at the Cheltenham Festival for Nicky Henderson with a hard-fought win in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The 11-4 favourite came home seven lengths clear of a shattered Sir Des Champs (4-1) with the winner's stablemate and 2011 winner Long Run a further two and three-quarter lengths back in third at 7-2.
Bobs Worth, who was winning at his third successive Cheltenham Festival, took his perfect record at the track to five as he gave Henderson a second win in jump racing's biggest championship event.
In doing so, he added another £313,000-plus to Henderson's prize-money tally and the trainer now has a lead of more than £400,000 on Paul Nicholls in the race to be champion trainer. Nicholls' own hopes of winning a fifth Gold Cup came unstuck when his runner Silviniaco Conti fell three out.
Bobs Worth was a fourth winner at Cheltenham this week for Henderson and a third for Barry Geraghty who was equalling Tony McCoy's tally of 28 winners at the meeting.
Long Run was always in a prominent position under Sam Waley-Cohen and he was joined by Tony McCoy on Sir Des Champs six out with Bobs Worth under Geraghty and last year's runner-up The Giant Bolster and Tom Scudamore joining the party late on.
The winning jockey said: "He has a great attitude and travelled, although he was struggling on the ground.
"I was hunting them and turning in I thought I had every chance and thought I should win. He's game as a lion and loves the job."
Geraghty's joy though was slightly dampened by the serious injuries suffered by amateur rider JT McNamara in a fall the previous afternoon. He added: "I would love to be happier but all we're thinking about is John Thomas McNamara. I just hope and pray he's okay."
Henderson, who continues to rewrite the Cheltenham history books was pleased with the efforts of both his runners.
"They were great - both horses were fantastic," he said. "Everyone has done one hell of a job as we've purposely not run them.
"Bobs Worth has not run since the Hennessy and Long Run since the King George and it's all down to what they've done at home and what the team have done, so credit to them all."
Trainer Wille Mullins said of Sir Des Champs: "It was a hell of a run.
"He didn't appear to travel as well as he normally does and Tony was niggling him all the time."
Reflecting on his front-running role, Waley-Cohen said: "We needed to make it a stamina race. There was no other pace so it was us."
David Bridgwater trainer of The Giant Bolster said: "He is obviously a decent ground horse but what a great race he ran and what a great horse the winner must be. He was phenomenal but our horse ran brilliantly as well."
Ruby Walsh said Silviniaco Conti was fine after his fall. "Three out is a long way home," he said. "I hadn't asked him a question so there might have been more there but there might not have been. If you don't jump you don't win. There's not a bother on him so I imagine he'll go to Aintree or Punchestown."
The win left bookmakers split over what they had just seen. BetVictor made Bobs Worth just 5-2 to win again next year while William Hill went a more generous 5-1.