In winning the blue riband event for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty, he was completing a unique treble having won at the Cheltenham Festival in three different races in three successive years.
Bobs Worth won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2011 and followed up 12 months later in the RSA Chase (now Brown Advisory). As well as his three Cheltenham victories, he won the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2012 and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in 2013.
Geraghty rode him in all his major victories, but more than that he bought him as a yearling before selling him on to 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.
“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”.
“Charlie Vigors rang me this morning to tell me, it’s tragic news. You call a lot of things legends but this was one of them,” Henderson told Sky Sports Racing.
“He was one we’ll never forget. We had some fantastic times, three consecutive Cheltenham Festival wins and three different races.
“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. All of Seven Barrows is very sad and our feelings go out to the Vigors and his owners (Not Afraid Partnership) who had some great days with him.
“If ever there was a horse to take a leaf out of his book, Bobs Worth was the one to learn from.”