Barry Geraghty pays warm tribute to Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth

RACING legend Barry Geraghty has paid poignant tribute to Bobs Worth after the death of the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero.

File photo dated 15-03-2013 of Bobs Worth ridden by Barry Geraghty winning the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
File photo dated 15-03-2013 of Bobs Worth ridden by Barry Geraghty winning the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

RACING legend Barry Geraghty has paid poignant tribute to Bobs Worth after the death of the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero.

Victory in the blue riband race saw Bobs Worth complete a unique treble by winning three different races at successive National Hunt Festivals.

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He won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2011 and followed up 12 months later in the RSA Chase. He also won the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2012 and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in 2013.

Jockey Barry Geraghty celebrates after winning the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Bobs Worth in 2013.

Geraghty, who is now retired from the saddle, rode him in all his major victories. More than that, he bought him as a yearling before selling him on to Nicky Henderson as a four-year-old.

Bobs Worth spent his retirement with Charlie and Tracy Vigors at their Hillwood Stud. “I was with him all the way through since he was a yearling. He was a gorgeous horse, kind, easy going and beautiful all the way through,” said Geraghty.

“Even in all the time he was at Seven Barrows, he was adorable, he had a lovely personality. I think because he just got on with the job and he wasn’t flashy – he was very unassuming in a race just going about his business – he maybe didn’t quite get the recognition he deserved.”

He went on: “When he came to the business end of a race he came alive, certainly in his Gold Cup and in the Lexus. He was brilliant at Cheltenham, the hill brought out the best in him and he was such a strong stayer.

Jockey Barry Geraghty celebrates the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup win of Bobs Worth.

“He possessed a brilliant finish and his Gold Cup was a brilliant performance. It’s very sad, especially for Charlie and Tracy Vigors and their sons (Harry and Oliver), they absolutely adored him there. He was a very special. Anyone who had anything to do with him just adored him.”

Henderson also expressed his sorrow at the news and hailed Bobs Worth as a “legend”. “He was one we’ll never forget. We had some fantastic times, three consecutive Cheltenham Festival wins and three different races,” added the former champion trainer.

“He would die for you and sadly he has died while having the most wonderful retirement. He was only 17 and could have had another 10 years with the Vigors being ridden by their boys, I feel desperate for them.

“I bought him off Barry and he rode him throughout his amazing career which as well as three Cheltenham wins included a Hennessy and a Lexus Chase in Ireland. He was an absolute legend. Every time he came up that Cheltenham hill he just fought and fought and fought. It’s tragic and very sad news.”

Meanwhile, Henderson’s all-conquering Shishkin remains on course for a mouthwatering clash with the Willie Mullins-trained Energumene in tomorrow’s Grade One SBK Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Widely regarded as the best two mile steeplechasers in training, the contest is a dress rehearsal for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at March.

And the aforementioned Geraghty, who was on board Moscow Flyer for his memorable battles with Azertyuiop and Well Chief, is finding it hard to split the big two.

“I thought Shishkin was better than ever at Kempton but Energumene... we haven’t seen the best of either horse yet,” said Geraghty who also enjoyed many successes on champion chaser Sprinter Sacre.

“I think this is the best match up we’ve seen since Moscow and Azertyuiop all those years ago. It will be brilliant race and I can’t wait to watch it. It will be a proper race, a real proper one.”

Robbie Dunne has appealed against his 18-month ban handed down last month for bullying and harassing weighing-room colleague Bryony Frost.

It comes after a high-profile disciplinary inquiry ruled that the 36-year-old had engaged in conduct at the track, online and in the weighing room that was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of racing.