Battling Bobs Worth Wins RSA Chase for Henderson
1 Bobs Worth 9/2
Bobs Worth, winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle last year, was successful at a second consecutive Festival when taking the RSA Chase in impressive fashion.
“It’s been a tough season for him and I never thought that he would make it here. Barry (Geraghty) has given him a wonderful ride - he has to do that because he sold the thing to me!”, said winning trainer Nicky Henderson, who was having his 42nd Festival winner.
“The horse looked awful six weeks ago and I didn’t really want to run him at Ascot last time but needed to get a run into him. Barry said he gave the horse two gentlemanly rides before today. He looked a different horse today from in the Reynoldstown, it was the first time that his coat was nearly there. He has been behind everything else in the yard.
“We have had our problems with him and I was never really happy with him over the winter. He had a wind operation and I don’t know whether that knackered him up a bit. The physios and everybody have worked incredibly hard to get him here and well done them because it has been a long battle to get him back. He had a session with Yogi Breisner last week as his jumping hasn’t always been as slick as it should be, but he jumped beautifully today. These days are very special but you have got to get them right on the day. Barry said he was as brave as a lion.”
Barry Geraghty has an unusual role in the career of Bobs Worth, who won today’s RSA Chase.
He bought the horse with a view to ‘pinhooking’ him - selling him at a later date, hopefully for a profit - and three years later found a buyer. That was Nicky Henderson, and as Geraghty is first jockey at that trainer’s Lambourn stables it meant he was likely to ride the horse once he reached the races.
The combination won last year’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and completed a fine Festival double today.
Geraghty said: “I bought him as a yearling, and Nicky bought him off me as a four-year-old - or should I say robbed him off me as a four-year-old. He’s a lovely game and genuine horse and he clearly likes this place.
“He’s all heart. He jumped well and I knew jumping the second-last that although I was half a length down I had Davy Russell [on runner-up First Lieutenant] covered. I gave him a chance to fill up and he had enough pace.
“He had his wind done after the Feltham [Chase in which he was third to Grands Crus] - it was as though he had a bag over his head he couldn’t breathe - and after the operation to sort out his breathing the Reynoldstown at Ascot [in which he was second] probably came too soon.
“He’s really come together in the last week and Shane who rides him at home has done some great work on him. “It was a good solid race run at a good pace and I knew he would run well.”
LIEUTENANT ‘PADDLES’ HOME
“The ground was probably a bit dead for him. And Davy [Russell, jockey] said there was a patch between the last two where it was a bit softer, and he rather paddled through it a bit. He’s a horse who needs genuine good ground.
“But I’m not using that as an excuse, he jumped well, gave it everything, and was beaten by a better horse on the day. He belongs in this sort of company, he’s a genuine Grade 1 horse, and if all goes well he should be back here again next year for the next step, the Gold Cup.”
Last year the chestnut Presenting gelding beat Tuesday’s Stan James Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby in the Neptune Investment Managements Novices’ Hurdle.
Willie Mullins, trainer of third-placed Call The Police
Mullins reported Hurricane Fly unscathed after his odds-on third place in Tuesday’s Stan James Champion Hurdle. “He’s fine,” he said. “The race was something we just want to draw a line under, and move on.”
PIPE VOWS ‘WE’LL BE BACK’
RSA Chase 6/5 favourite Grands Crus could manage only fourth place after challenging for the lead with two to jump and fading in the home straight.
Trainer David Pipe said: “There’ll be other days but he’s back in one piece and that’s the main thing. He just didn’t come up the hill. We’ll be back for more.”
Jockey Tom Scudamore added: “He travelled and jumped well but just got beaten. He’s fine.”
RSA CHASE FACTS AND FIGURES
1. The RSA Chase is run with its current title for the fourth time this year although the race is backed by one of Cheltenham’s longest-running sponsors. It was run as the Royal & SunAlliance Chase up to 2008 and as the Royal SunAlliance Chase in 1997. Sun Alliance, which merged with Royal Insurance in 1996, previously backed the Sun Alliance Chase for 23 years and sponsored at Cheltenham for 26 years altogether. From 1971-73, the Foxhunter Chase was titled the Sun Alliance & London Foxhunters.
2. Sun Alliance & London was the first company outside racing to embrace commercial sponsorship at The Festival. Only the tote precedes the insurance company. Before 1974, the race was titled the Broadway Novices’ Chase and the Totalisator Champion Novices’ Chase.
3. Since 1959, seven horses have won both the RSA Chase and Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. They are:
1959 Mandarin (Gold Cup 1962)
To this list might be added the name of Tied Cottage, winner of the RSA Chase in 1976 and the Gold Cup in 1980, before subsequent disqualification.
4. The biggest field for the race has been 30, in 1986, and the smallest eight, in 1993. The current safety limit is 20.
5. Willie Mullins has the best record among current trainers in the contest, having landed three victories with Rule Supreme (2004), Florida Pearl (1998) and Cooldine (2009). Legendary handler Fred Winter also saddled three winners of the RSA Chase - Killiney (1973), Pengrail (1975) and Brown Chamberlin (1982).
6. Irish-trained winners number 16 in total, the latest being Bostons Angel, trained by Jessica Harrington in 2011.
7. The most successful jockey in the RSA Chase has been Peter Scudamore, who notched up a hat-trick from 1991 to 1993 with Rolling Ball, Miinnehoma and Young Hustler. Ruby Walsh is the only current jockey to have landed the race twice, having won on Denman (2007) and Cooldine (2009).
8. The longest-priced winners since 1964 were Hussard Collonges in 2002 and Canny Danny in 1983, both at 33/1, with Arkle the shortest-priced at 4/9 in 1963.
9. The fastest running of the race was won by Lord Noelie in 2000 at 6 mins 5.3s, beating the previous best of 6 mins 6.6s set by Miinnehoma in 1992.
10. The West Awake is the only horse to have won both what is now the Neptune Investment Managment Novices’ Hurdle (previously sponsored by RSA) and the RSA Chase. He won the Hurdle in 1987 and the Chase in 1988. The 2010 winner Weapon’s Amnesty became the first horse to win the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and RSA Chase.
2011-WINNER-BOSTONS ANGEL 7-11-04 Owner-Elder Scouller; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Robert Power; SP-16/1 2ND-Jessies Dream 8-11-04 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Gordon Elliott IRE; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-10/1 3RD-Wayward Prince 7-11-04 Owner-John & Hilary Parrott; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-15/2
2010-WINNER-WEAPON’S AMNESTY 7-11-04 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Charles Byrnes IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-10/1 2ND-Burton Port 6-11-04 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-9/1 3RD-Long Run 5-11-03 Owner-Robert Waley-Cohen; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mr Sam Waley-Cohen; SP-11/4 9 ran, Time-6m 13.50s Dist-7, sh 2/1 Fav Punchestowns (5th)
2009-WINNER-COOLDINE 7-11-04 Owner-Violet O’Leary; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-9/4 Fav
2008-WINNER-ALBERTAS RUN 7-11-04 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-4/1 Fav
2007-WINNER-DENMAN 7-11-04 Owner-Maggie Findlay & Paul
Barber; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/5 Fav
DE MOHAISON 5-10-08 Owner-Sir Robert Ogden; Trainer-Paul
Nicholls; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-14/1
2005-WINNER-TRABOLGAN 7-11-04 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Nicky Henderson;
Jockey-Mick FitzGerald;SP- 5/1
2004-WINNER-RULE SUPREME 8-11-04 Owner-John Lynch; Trainer-Willie Mullins
IRE; Jockey-David Casey; SP-25/1
2003-WINNER-ONE KNIGHT 7-11-04 Owner-Robert Gibbs; Trainer-Philips Hobbs;
Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-15/2
2002-WINNER-HUSSARD COLLONGES 7-11-04 Owner-Nick Bannister; Trainer-Peter
Beaumont; Jockey-Russ Garritty; SP-33/1
2000-WINNER-LORD NOELIE 7-11-04 Owner-Executive Racing; Trainer-Henrietta
Knight; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP-9/2
1999-WINNER-LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE 7-11-04 Owner-Universal
Conference & Incentive
Trv Ltd; Trainer-Noel Chance; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-16/1
1998-WINNER-FLORIDA PEARL 6-11-04 Owner-Violet
Mullins IRE; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-11/8 Fav
1997-WINNER-HANAKHAM 8-11-04 Owner-Malcolm Brereton; Trainer-Ron Hodges;
Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-13/2
RSA CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR
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