03/13/2013 3:50PM

Cheltenham: Bobs Worth favored in Cheltenham Gold Cup

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The lightly raced Bobs Worth was the 11-4 favorite in the future book on Wednesday to win Friday’s $820,000 Cheltenham Gold Cup over 3 5/16 miles, the richest race of the four-day meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Bobs Worth, an 8-year-old gelding, has not started since Dec. 1, when he won the prestigious Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. Trained by Nicky Henderson, Bobs Worth is unbeaten in four career starts at Cheltenham, including the 2012 RSA Chase over the Gold Cup distance.

The Gold Cup field of 11 includes the 2011 winner Long Run, who was third in 2012. Long Run has not started since winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Dec. 26.

Other well-regarded Gold Cup runners are 2012 runner-up The Giant Bolster; Sir des Champs, who has dominated Ireland’s top chases over the winter; and Silviniaco Conti, who has won his last four starts, including the Denman Chase at Newbury last month.

It has already been an eventful week for Long Run’s jockey, the amateur Sam Waley-Cohen. Last weekend, he and his wife had their first child, a son. Tuesday at Cheltenham, Waley-Cohen won a handicap steeplechase for novices over 2 1/2 miles, his fourth career win at the Cheltenham festival.

“They say good things come in threes,” he said Tuesday.