Chance Du Roy led home a Value Bet one-two in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree.
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The 14/1 chance tracked the freewheeling Baby Run (12/1) turning for home and the pair, Ben Linfoot's two selections in the race, set out to fight out a titanic duel.
The eventual runner-up, having his first start for 959 days, looked soundly beaten when passed jumping the last but fought tenaciously up the run-in and was only a length down at the line.
Mr Moonshine (25/1) finished with great purpose in third, a further length-and-three-quarters adrift, with Ballybough Gorta (33/1) back in fourth.
Linfoot's Value Bet column has enjoyed a remarkable 2013 and is 135 points in profit to recommended stakes for the calendar year.
The winner has been introduced into the Crabbies Grand National betting at 33/1 by Sky Bet.
Sarah Hobbs, wife of the winning trainer Philip, said: "That was so exciting, he loves this course.
"He stayed on really well at the finish and you'd like to think he could maybe come back here in April for the National, although I think there'll be a bit of opposition from the owner.
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"When Planet Of Sound was a non-runner (because of the ground), Tom O'Brien offered the ride to Richard (Johnson, stable jockey) but Richard said Tom knows the horse better so let him keep the ride, which was nice.
"The horses are running really well, Philip is at Chepstow where we've had a double. We're all delighted."
Winning rider O'Brien said: "I got into a really nice rhythm and was always travelling well. It's great to get a winner on a big day."
Sam Twiston-Davies said of the 13-year-old Baby Run, who is trained by his father, Nigel: "He gave me some spin. I nearly fell off him at the second and I was sat on his tail the rest of the way round.
"He was in a field during the summer with Bindaree and Hello Bud and was full of himself. I even gave him a spin in the stalls for a bit of fun!
"It's been a tremendous effort by everyone to get him back and all credit to Nigel. He certainly knows what he's doing.
"I'm of the same opinion I was last time - I'd love him to be retired - but we'll see what Nigel wants to do."