Bobs Worth: the exciting novice hurdler is by leading sire Bob BackPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Stalwart stallion Bob Back put down aged 30
STALWART stallion Bob Back was put down last month due to the infirmities of old age. The son of Roberto had just officially turned 30.
Bob Back was born to be tough, as a son ofGrade 2 Matron Handicap and nine-time winner Toter Back from the immediate family of 1965 US Horse of the Year Roman Brother, and he displayed that trait in both his racing and breeding careers.
Bob Back enjoyed a fine four-year-old season for trainer Michael Jarvis, winning the Group 1 Premio Presidente della Repubblica and pulling off a shock 33-1 victory over Commanche Run and Pebbles in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.
Bob Back retired to Baroda Stud in County Kildare in 1988 and when the executors of the late Sean Doyle decided to sell Baroda, the sire followed John O'Connor when he went to manage Ballylinch Stud in County Kilkenny.
The sire developed into a dual-purpose horse and eventually covered prodominantly National Hunt mares after a move to Burgage Stud in 2001. He enjoyed high fertility and covered restricted books of around 140-150 mares until his retirement in 2007.
Bob Back got off to a good start with his progeny, with the Luca Cumani-trained Group 3 winner and Queen Anne Stakes runner-up Inner City in his first crop.
Bob Back's second crop yielded a Classic winner in the shape of Bob's Return, who landed the St Leger, Great Voltigeur Stakesand Lingfield Derby Trial in a glittering three-year-old season in 1993.
Bob's Return proved an able jumps sire, with progeny including top-class chaser Joncol, and smart pair Ground Ball and Oneway.
Another of BobBack's Flat stars, Big Bad Bob, won three black-type events including the Autumn Stakes and has been a revelation at stud, earning him a move to the Irish National Stud this year.
It is as a jumps sire that Bob Back excelled. A long list of top performers in that sphere is headed on Racing Post Ratings by triple Grade 2 winner and Hennessy Gold Cup runner-up Burton Port, and includes Grade 1 winners Bacchanal, Back In Front, Cousin Vinny and Rare Bob.
The sire is likely to have a strong squad of runners for the Cheltenham Festival next month including novice hurdlers Bobs Worth, Dare Me and Tornado Bob.
Ballylinch Stud's John O'Connor said: "Bob Back's death signifies an end of an era - he has been good to all sorts of people in the industry: owners, breeders, trainers, vendors.
"His progeny are tough, honest and have a real will to win. I think that's why his progeny have excelled at the Cheltenham festival - if a horse ever needs the will to win, it's there.
"He has been extremely cosnsistent throughout his career and his influence didn't diminish in old age. I think he must have sired more good horses in his 20s than a lot of stallions do in their entire career."