Blacklooks from the bookies as Mark Your Card resume normal service


Mark Your Card returned to form in October, posting a thumping 115.8-point yield. And, in the process, they revived hopes of a fourth successive Besttipping crown, something that looked a forlorn prospect at the end of September. Isiris were also in fine fettle, recording a 69-point yield.

Person Info and Personal Info Saturday-Only also ended the month in credit, while First Favourite missed out by a fraction.

After the travails of September, when only the two Personal Info services posted profits, October came as a blessed relief. Mark Your Card’s first century-plus return since November 2015, and their ninth in total, ensures that the annual challenge will go to the wire. Last month, we dared to suggest that the chances of a fourth Mark Your Card success were slim, but with Steve Jones’ Daily Bargain enduring a disappointing month, the difference between the two services is now just 16.3 points. (At the end of September Daily Bargain led by 150 points.)

Mark Your Card’s successes were spread evenly throughout the month, but the best was saved till last, when 40/1 advice, Blacklooks, triumphed at Leicester (30 October). There were also two winning 20/1 advices, Landing Night (Newcastle, 10 October) and Pettochside (Goodwood, 15 October) along with three 12/1 winners and five at 10s.

Isiris have also experienced a difficult year, but October heralded a welcome return to the sort of form that earned them the Besttipping Challenge accolade back in 2013. An October profit of 69 points was the best return this long-established service has achieved since an 87-point haul back in August of that year.

Isiris’ reputation is based on successes at the showcase meetings, and last month was no exception as the winners of Newmarket’s Dewhurst Stakes (U S Navy Flag, 9/1 advice, 14 October) and Ascot’s Qipco Champion Mares and Fillies Stakes (Hydrangea, 7/1 advice, 21 October) were both highlighted.  Away from the spotlight, Isiris were also on the ball, with 9/1 Zen Master, successful over the jumps at Market Rasen (21 October), standing out. There were also returns from a number of each-way advices such as 25/1 advice Bafana Blue, third at Ayr (30 October)

The rich vein of form shown recently by Personal Info continued in October. Mixing multiple selection (dutching) bets with singles selections, Personal Info posted a 4.8-point October profit. Seven out of nine singles bets were successful, while the winners of six of the eight dutching races were identified. Winners included two 9/4 advices, Bamako Moriviere (Fairyhouse, 7 October) and Pallasator (Punchestown, 19 October).

Bamako Moriviere (see above) was one of three winning selections for Personal Info’s Saturday-Only service in October, which was enough to secure a sixth month of profit for 2017, a figure equalled by the regular Personal Info service and bettered only by the table-toppers, Daily Bargain.

First Favourite’s October fate was decided by Miningrocks, who could only finish second at Redcar on the penultimate day of the month. Victory would have meant a handsome return on investment; loss meant a loss of just 0.3 points. Despite this reverse, First Favourite remain up for 2017, as do Probets, who were tormented by an agonising run of second-places. Between 8 and 31 October, 13 Probets selections claimed the runners-up spot. A slightly kinder roll of the dice would have yielded a handsome return.