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Bobs Worth to be kept busy
6:00am Friday 6th September 2013 in Sport
TRAINER Nicky Henderson is hopeful Bobs Worth will have a busier campaign this time around as he builds up to a defence of his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown next March.
The seven-year-old kicked off last season with a brilliant display in the Hennessy Gold Cup in early December, but was then not seen until clinching Gold Cup glory at the Festival in the spring.
Henderson said: “It was one bad tracheal wash and some bloody awful weather.
“He probably never really reached peak fitness last season.
“We were going to run him and a lot of the other top horses much more, but the winter set us back.”
The Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and the Betfair Chase at Haydock are obvious early-season targets for Bobs Worth, but a tilt at the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day appears highly unlikely.
“It’s (Kempton) not a good track for Bobs Worth, who loves going left-handed and loves Cheltenham,” said the Seven Barrows trainer.
One of Henderson’s stars who could yet come into the King George reckoning is Simonsig, who completed a hat-trick over fences in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham.
Henderson said: “He started at over two miles and three furlongs last year, and he won the Neptune (over two miles and five furlongs) the year before that.
“It all tells you he stays and I wouldn't rule him out of the King George. Otherwise he’s going to have to go straight in and take on Sprinter Sacre, which would be quite a pity.”
Dual King George winner Long Run is likely to be back at Kempton on Boxing Day, while Oscar Whisky and My Tent Or Yours are also likely to be major flag-bearers for the stable. Henderson claimed his first trainers’ title since 1987 last season and is determined not to relinquish it.
“I’ve still got the hunger, I want to go and win every bloody race there is and we’ve got a very strong team, both equine and human,” he said.
“Oscar Whisky will go over fences. My Tent or Yours will have to come in as a Champion Hurdle horse, and Grandouet is one of those, too.
“There’s an awful lot of good ones for those races and some good youngsters, too.”
Henderson meanwhile ruled star chaser Sprinter Sacre out of the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The seven-year-old remains unbeaten after 10 starts over fences, turning in a mesmerising display in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March before following up at Aintree and Punchestown.
Although he has yet to encounter three miles, King George sponsors William Hill make Sprinter Sacre the 6-4 favourite for the Festive showpiece, but Henderson warns punters to save their money.
“They can put him in the betting all they like, but it’s daylight robbery if they’re going to convince anyone to back him because he won’t even be entered,” the Seven Barrows handler said.
Henderson suggested he is likely to take in an identical programme to last season.
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