Cheltenham Gold Cup 2014: Bobs Worth heads 36 entries

Bobs Worth

Last year's winner Bobs Worth heads 36 entries for the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup on 14 March.

The nine-year-old beat Sir Des Champs by seven lengths to claim the prize, though the runner-up will miss this year's race through injury.

Bobs Worth's trainer Nicky Henderson has also included 2011 winner Long Run and Hennessy victor Triolo D'Alene.

King George winner Silviniaco Conti, who was going well last year before falling three out, is also entered.

Bobs Worth was comprehensively beaten on his seasonal reappearance in the Betfair Chase at Haydock behind Cue Card in November, but returned to form by winning an exciting Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

He is worthy favourite to retain his crown being unbeaten in three successive races at the Cheltenham Festival, having also won the 2011 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and the 2012 RSA Chase.

Paul Nicholls, trainer of Silviniaco Conti, could also run Al Ferof, third in the King George, Unioniste, Rocky Creek and Tidal Bay.

The seven-time champion trainer has won the Gold Cup four times - more than any other current handler.

Ireland's 11 entries are headed by multiple Grade One winner First Lieutenant, who is trained at the Gold Cup-winning stable of Mouse Morris.

The nine-year-old boasts an excellent record at the Festival, annexing the 2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle and finishing second in both the 2012 RSA Chase and last year's Ryanair Chase.

His owner, Gigginstown House Stud, has also entered Bog Warrior, Last Instalment, Dedigout and Roi Du Mee.

Last Instalment was one of the leading lights in the staying novice chase ranks about two years ago before being sidelined by injury.

Trainer Philip Fenton is focusing on his first run back in the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on 16 January.

He said: "It's a bit too early to talk about Cheltenham for Last Instalment, but he will have his first run back in the Kinloch Brae Chase.

"He has been pleasing in his work so far and everything has gone very satisfactorily with him, but I'm sure he will improve for his first run as we haven't pushed him at home."