All change: Mark Your Card regain top spot after solid July effort
It had to happen. Mark Your Card are back at the head of the 2018 Besttipping Challenge after posting a 15.6-point July yield – the best return in what proved to be a testing month all-round. Personal Info finished second, posting their sixth profit out of seven for the year while the same firm’s Saturday-Only service also posted a July gain.
It was back in February that Mark Your Card last surveyed the view from the top of the table. March, April and May saw un uncharacteristic slump that reduced the three-time champs to the status of also-rans.
But a revival that began in June continued on into July. It was a tough month with the drought-like conditions that prevailed around the country making winner finding more of a test than normal. Nevertheless, Dreamboat Annie, a winning 25/1 advice at Leicester (19 July) and victorious 20/1 advice Dinsdale (Ffos Las, 13 July) spearheaded a robust Mark Your Card campaign that also included a brace of 10/1 successes: Trulee Scrumptious (Newmarket, 27 July) and Bahuta Acha (Catterick, 25 July).
The overall July return, whilst lower than June’ s 38-point yield, was enough to steer Mark Your Card back to the top of the Besttipping Challenge. Mark Your Card are currently 75.5 points up for the year, which gives them a five-point advantage over the 2017 winner Steve Jones’ Daily Bargain with another of Jones’ services, Probets, back in third spot.
Personal Info, who are fourth in the overall table, continued to prosper, posting a sixth profitable return out of seven so far in 2018. Taking the last four months of 2017 into account, Personal Info have registered nine profitable months out of 11 – that’s a better than 81% strike-rate.
Once again, dutching was the key to Personal Info’s success. For the uninitiated, dutching bets involve two, three or sometimes more selections in a particular race. A win yields a profit as stakes are staggered to reflect the odds of the selections. In Personal Info’s case, these bets have produced good returns in the past and seven such bets in July resulted in five winning bets including two at 4/1, Autumn leaves (Sandown, 26 July) and Angel’s Highway (Ascot, 28 July) and one at 7/2, Lunar Corona (Wolverhampton, 10 July). And, just for good measure, in three of these five instances the runner-up was also advised.
Angel’s Highway was also on the scoresheet for Personal Info’s Saturday-Only service which posted a small profit. In all, seven July selections produced two winners and three runners-up. Like the full Personal Info service, Saturday-Only has a knack of guiding followers into the black with 17 of the last 23 monthly returns earning a profit (74% strike-rate).
It’s rare for a service to finish the month with neither a profit or loss, but that was the case for Daily Bargain, whose 30 selections last month included four winners, notably 8/1 Eastern Racer (Doncaster, 26 July) and 7/1 Quoteline Direct (Pontefract, 2 July). When the reckoning was done, 30 points staked yielded a 30-point return: result an untouched bank.
So, a change at the top of the table. But, with five months to go and just five points separating the main protagonists, its remains far too close to call.