Bobs Worth bounced back from a disappointing seasonal reappearance to land the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
Winner of last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, Bobs Worth could finish only sixth behind Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on his return last month, but he stepped up significantly on that effort to win the three-mile feature.
First Lieutenant jumped the last in the lead but Bobs Worth (11-4 joint-favourite) found plenty for Barry Geraghty on the run in to win by a length and a half, with Rubi Ball back in third.
Ruby Walsh set out to make all on Rubi Ball with First Lieutenant, Bobs Worth and his fellow joint-favourite Sir Des Champs sitting on his heels through the early stages.
With four fences to jump, there were a handful of contenders queuing up in behind to challenge Rubi Ball, with First Lieutenant putting in a couple of excellent leaps to put himself on terms with the leader.
However, Geraghty switched Bobs Worth to the outside turning for home and he found plenty for pressure on the run to the last.
He continued to dig deep all the way to the line and his triumph puts Bobs Worth right back into the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup reckoning.
Betvictor and Paddy Power both now make him the 5-2 favourite to retain his title.