Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:51 29/12/2013
Available at 6-1 after a bitterly disappointing performance behind Cue Card in Haydock's Betfair Chase last month the reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth regained favouritism for back-to-back wins next March when once again outstaying a high-class field to take Leopardstown's Lexus Chase yesterday afternoon and is now as short as 2-1 with Skybet to record his fourth Festival victory, although 7-2 is still available with Ladbrokes, a price that is unlikely to last very long.
While there is little doubt that the 8-year-old son of Bob Back deserves his place at the head of the Gold Cup ante-post market there is a much better value alternative in the shape of the 9-1 on offer with Betvictor about 2013 runner-up Sir Des Champs who, despite only finishing fourth behind Bobs Worth, First Lieutenant and Rubi Ball ran a race full of promise and is sure to be a different proposition with the race under his belt. Getting no further than the third fence on his seasonal reappearance at Punchestown, the Willie Mullins-trained 7-year-old showed his confidence had not been affected, jumping much better than the winner until lack of condition told at the business end of the race.
The mount of Davy Russell has seven lengths to make up on Nicky Henderson's charge if he is to go one better next year but with jumping sure to prove crucial if both horses put in similar rounds at Prestbury Park it is possible Bobs Worth may find himself with too much ground to make up in the closing stages, which makes the Irish challenger much more appealing as a long-range betting proposition. If last season's Irish Hennessy Gold Cup winner can repeat that victory next February his price is sure to shorten for the big one in March making the 9-1 currently on offer a cracking each-way bet.