Gordon a top bet for Bowen
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day two of the Grand National meeting.
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The professionals get their first look at the 2013 John Smith's Grand National fences in the Topham Chase on Friday and GULLIBLE GORDON looks a decent bet to extend the incredible record of Peter Bowen in the race.
Bowen has won four of the last six renewals of the contest - three of which went to National hopeful Always Waining - and Gullible Gordon is a perfectly acceptable price at 16/1 given his credentials.
- 1pt win Gullible Gordon in 3.40 Aintree at 16/1 (Ladbrokes, William Hill) - trainer dominates this race, he ran well in Becher and well handicapped
- 1pt win Minella Forfitness in 4.50 Aintree at 9/1 (General) - looks well handicapped, loves good ground and flat tracks; step up to 2m4f sure to suit
- 1pt e.w Peckhamecho in 4.50 Aintree at 25/1 (general) - improving over hurdles and underestimated on Welsh Champion Hurdle form
Not only does he have the right man preparing him for the race, but he's a sound jumper and prominent racer who has experience of these unique fences following a sixth in the Becher Chase here back in November.
He didn't get home on the very soft ground that day but he took to the fences well and the combination of the drop in trip and better ground look sure to suit him.
Well handicapped on his very best form over park fences, he's also 4lb lower than his Becher Chase rating and a big run looks on the cards.
Later on, MINELLA FORFITNESS looks the one to be on in the John Smith's Daily Mirror Punters Club Handicap Hurdle at 9/1.
That might sound like a skinny price about a novice in a 22-runner handicap but I think he could be incredibly well handicapped off a mark of 135 and he has conditions to suit.
Good ground is vital to his chances, he goes well on flat tracks and the step up in distance also looks certain to bring about more improvement in Nicky Henderson's horse.
He somehow got up to beat 2011 Cheltenham Bumper winner Cheltenian over two miles at Doncaster last time but that trip is an absolute minimum for him and 2m4f looks perfect at this stage in his career.
Of those at the top of the market he makes the most appeal by some way and if there is one lurking at much bigger odds in the race it could be PECKHAMECHO who is worth some each-way support at 28/1.
Rebecca Curtis' horse hasn't particularly got on with fences in his novice chases but he remains unexposed over hurdles and is well worth another crack over timber off a career-high mark.
He went up 7lb following his second to Medinas in the Welsh Champion Hurdle but the winner franked that form at the Cheltenham Festival and I think he'll be even better on better ground.
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet Aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +189.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).