Last week frenzy sees Daily Bargain hit top spot


On the morning of 21 February, Daily Bargain, the 2020 Besttipping champion, was languishing at the foot of this year’s table. The previous twenty days had generated just one winner and another losing month seemed inevitable. For the first time in eons, it seemed Daily Bargain was about to post a third successive losing month.

But the last eight days of the month witnessed a transformation like no other. Four winners from five (at odds ranging from 6/1 to 16/1) saw the month’s losses eradicated and, in their place, a handsome profit emerged. At the month’s end, Daily Bargain had accrued a miraculous 24.5-point yield, securing an unlikely monthly crown. Probets’, Steve Jones’ second service, produced its own Houdini act, thanks to another last-ditch effort, and claimed second position while the two Personal Info services also secured February profits.

Although the pattern of wins by Daily Bargain suggested drama, the reality is that this was a regular month. Five winners from 25 selections – a 20% strike-rate, with odds averaging 17/2 – is about what we have come to expect. And the fact the winners came in a flurry is no big surprise: when Jones hits top form frequently runs up nice sequences.

Jack The Truth (9/1 advice) offset some of January’s losses when winning at Chelmsford on 4 February. Things then went quiet, with non-runners interrupting the flow, but the success of the Noel Meade-trained Beacon Edge in Navan’s Boyne Hurdle heralded a change of fortune. That 7/1 success was followed by the 16/1 victory of Al Suil Eile at Kempton on his second start for Shaun Harris (24 February). Little India (6/1) maintained the momentum, winning the next day at Southwell, while the Devon National victory of 13/2 advice Samuel Jackson at Exeter twenty-four hours later brought the month to a glorious finale.

Like Daily Bargain, Probets experienced a month of two halves: between 1 and 18 February, sixteen selections generated just one winner, but the next ten days produced no fewer than seven. A near-certain loss was avoided and a healthy 5.8-point yield was secured. Form figures for that ten-day fiesta make very happy reading for Probets’ followers: 21212110111. United Front (9/2, Newcastle, 23 February), Hint Of Stars (9/2, Kempton, 24 February) and the splendid Sceau Royal (4/1, Newbury, 21 February) spearheaded this charge.

Personal Info’s Saturday-Only service resumed winning ways with a 4.9-point February gain. Last year, Saturday-Only secured seven profitable months out of ten, following nine-three splits in 2019 and 2018. Aria Rose, a winning 13/8 advice at Kempton on 6 February and Passionova (15/2) who triumphed a week later at Lingfield, were the rocks around which the month’s profit was built, while 13/2 Mahale, the runner-up in Passionova’s race, was also advised each-way.

Profit also for Personal Info’s Mainline service. The return was 2.6 points and alongside the two winners mentioned in the previous paragraph, Swallowdale (7/2, Lingfield, 5 February) also obliged.

Mark Your Card again experienced a low-key month with a loss of 4.3 points of relatively little import. Breguet Boy (6/1, Musselburgh, 6 February) led the way and there were a number of decent each-way returns on placed selections including 16/1 Fil Dariane and 18/1 Jaisalmer (both Warwick, 15 February), Just A Deal (25/1, Wetherby, 17 February) and that doughty old warrior Sub Lieutenant (33/1, Ascot, 20 February).

And so, another Cheltenham beckons. It will be different this year, obviously, and who’s to say what the impact of empty stands, and absent course bookies and amateur riders will be. Upsets, or business as usual? Time will tell.

Enjoy your March racing.