Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth returned to his very best with a battling win in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Saturday, while at Chepstow Mountainous claimed the Welsh National.
Bobs Worth put himself bang in contention for his Gold Cup title defence at Cheltenham in March with a typically gutsy display to reel in First Lieutenant and front runner Rubi Ball after the last fence.
For trainer Nicky Henderson, who earlier had picked up a top novice hurdle at Newbury, this win came as a timely boost after the irregular heart scare suffered by his other outstanding chaser, Sprinter Sacre, 24 hours earlier at Kempton.
Bobs Worth, who disappointed on his seasonal debut in the Betfair Chase in November, was sent off 11-4 favourite for this Grade One chase at Leopardstown near Dublin.
Sir Des Champs, the other joint favourite and trained by Irish jumps master Willie Mullins, held every chance but was unable to keep company with the three principals from the turn for home.
Jockey Barry Geraghty, who had sold the pint-sized Bobs Worth to Henderson, beamed: "I knew after the last he could do it."
Bobs Worth leapt to the head of the Gold Cup ante-post betting at 5-2 on the strength of this win, with Silviniaco Conti, winner of Thursday's King George VI Chase, next best at 4-1.
Earlier Mountainous supplied trainer Richard Lee with a thrilling victory in the Welsh National, defeating Hawkes Point and the 12-year-old topweight, Tidal Bay.
Date created : 2013-12-28