Cheltenham Festival 2012 

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Eyebrows Raised as Bobs Worth Given World Hurdle Entry

The surprise entry of last year's Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle winner Bobs Worth into the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival on March 15 has resulted in an interesting reshuffle of prices for the race and will have a knock-on effect on punters' thinking with regard to what was assumed to be his intended target, the RSA Chase, writes Elliot Slater.

Bobs Worth
© Grossick Racing Photography

Bobs Worth

Nicky Henderson's talented seven-year-old, a 5/1 second favourite for the RSA Chase behind 5/2 market leader Grand Crus, has made a smooth transition to fences after ending last term as he highest rated staying novice hurdler, winning on his chasing bow at Newbury (beating the very useful Cue Card by a short-head), before finishing a creditable third to Grand Crus at Kempton Park's Christmas meeting in the Grade 1 Feltham Novices Chase, apparently being ill-at-ease on the right-handed track but still beaten only five-lengths.

With Grand Crus far from certain to take his chance in the RSA Chase as connections seriously mull a bid for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Bobs Worth had appeared in poll position to take over as the leading candidate for the three-mile novice chasing crown, but Henderson's decision to include him in the declarations for the World Hurdle, (a race dominated by the awesome Big Buck's), now leaves ante-post punters scratching their heads and wondering exactly which route the gelded son of Bob Back is likely to take. Anyone looking at the Betfair World Hurdle betting will be keeping a close eye on the decision of his connections.

News of his inclusion in the declarations for the World Hurdle was greeted with best quotes of 16/1 about Henderson's charge, (some firms go as short as 10/1), the seven-year-old having been unbeaten during a four-race career over timber last term that saw him win at Kempton on his hurdles debut before rattling up a Cheltenham hattrick that culminated with his big win at the Festival itself.

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