|Grade 1, Leopardstown
3m, Class 1
|Saturday 28th December 2013|
1 Bobs Worth 11/4 JF
2 First Lieutenant 7/1
3 Rubi Ball 8/1
9 ran Distances: 1½l, 1l, 3¾l
TIME 6m 17.10s (slow by 35.10s)
Bobs Worth bounced back from a disappointing seasonal reappearance to land the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in thrilling style.
First Lieutenant jumped the last in the lead but Bobs Worth (11-4 joint-favourite) found plenty for Barry Geraghty on the run in to win by a length and a half, with Rubi Ball back in third.
Ruby Walsh set out to make all on Rubi Ball with First Lieutenant, Bobs Worth and his fellow joint-favourite Sir Des Champs sitting on his heels through the early stages.
With four fences to jump, there were a handful of contenders queuing up in behind to challenge Rubi Ball, with First Lieutenant putting in a couple of excellent leaps to put himself on terms with the leader.
However, Geraghty switched Bobs Worth to the outside turning for home and he found plenty for pressure on the run to the last.
He continued to dig deep all the way to the line and his triumph puts Bobs Worth right back into the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup reckoning.
BetVictor and MansionBet both now make him the 5-2 favourite to retain his title.
Henderson said: "I would have given anything to take him out two days ago. With the ground and the weather, I wasn't that happy with him, but the horse never stops surprising you.
"You have to be handier round here than you would normally be. When I saw Barry angle him out, I said to myself obviously he thinks he'll get there. We all know he finishes his races, except of course for Haydock.
"It's only five or six weeks since he got thumped into the ground there so to come back from that is great.
"I wanted to wait for the Argento Chase (at Cheltenham on January 25) but Barry was keen to come here. He believed he would get better ground here than anywhere in England.
"If we waited for the Argento and it turned up heavy, we'd only have five or six weeks before Cheltenham. This was the right race for him but conditions weren't perfect.
Lexus Chase ( Grade 1)
€150,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m, Class 1
||2. Bobs Worth
b g Bob Back (USA) - Fashionista
|Nicky Henderson (in GB)||B.J. Geraghty|
1 1/2 l
|3. First Lieutenant
ch g Presenting (GB) - Fourstargale
|8. Rubi Ball (FR)
ch g Network (GER) - Hygie (FR)
|W.P. Mullins||R. Walsh|
3 3/4 l
|9. Sir Des Champs (FR)
b g Robin Des Champs (FR) - Liste En Tete (FR)
|W.P. Mullins||D.N. Russell|
|6. Lyreen Legend
b g Saint des Saints (FR) - Bint Bladi (FR)
|D. T. Hughes||B.J. Cooper|
2 1/2 l
b g Woods Of Windsor (USA) - Bushey Glen
|John Patrick Ryan||P. Carberry|
|5. Lord Windermere
b g Oscar - Satellite Dancer
|J.H. Culloty||D.C. Costello|
|10. Unioniste (FR)
gr g Dom Alco (FR) - Gleep Will (FR)
|Paul Nicholls (in GB)||N. Schofield|
|7. Prince De Beauchene (FR)
b g French Glory (GB) - Chipie D'Angron (FR)
|W.P. Mullins||P. Townend|
ch g Beneficial (GB) - Supreme Breda