Magnificent Middleton strike gold
Thanks to the Chepstow victory of Aurillac last Saturday (27 February), Middleton Racing Services clinched a first monthly title, bringing Mark Your Card’s period of domination to an end. And, to add insult to injury, Middleton also displaced Mark Your Card at the head of the 2016 challenge.
James Boyle Racing finished second with Those2oppose, Mark Your Card, Steve Jones Daily Bargain and First Favourite all posting morale-boosting pre-Cheltenham profits in what was another testing month of rain and wind.
Middleton joined Besttipping in January 2015. This is a selective service, averaging little more than one bet per week. But, with ten profitable months out of fourteen, it is clear that this is a service that only bets when there is a high expectation of making profits. This month’s efforts make the point clearly; four selections yielded two winners and two seconds. As all bets were advised each-way, the two ‘losing’ bets also earned a return alongside the two winning selections, Flashjack (2/1, Towcester, 4 February) and Aurillac (5/1).
Second place was a fine reward for a strong showing by James Boyle with a regular stream of winners throughout the month. Saddlers Encore (13/2, Sandown, 6 February), Lunar Deity (6/1, Lingfield, 13 February), Fourovakind (8/1, Exeter, 26 February) and Ericht (5/1, Kempton, 27 February) all kept subscribers happy. Two months into 2016 Boyle sits in third spot in the overall competition, behind Middleton and Mark Your Card.
Those2oppose finished the month in emphatic style with 5/1 advice Ball D’Arc triumphing at Naas (21 February) and Grendisar (11/4) scoring a stylish victory in the Winter Derby (Lingfield, 27 February). This is a time of the year when, historically, Those2oppose flourish; the service has won the March title in the last two years, thriving on the ultimate test that is the Cheltenham Festival.
Having finished top of the table in each of the last three months of 2015 and the first of this year, Mark Your Card were seeking fifth successive monthly title. Despite a strong last-day showing, which yielded four winners, they were unable to steal a sixth successive monthly crown. There was no reason for despondency, however, as the winners continued to flow. 14/1 strikes The Firm (Southwell, 2 February) and Here’s Herbie (Ascot, 20 February) caught the eye as did Brother Tiger, a winning 12/1 advice at Chelmsford (7 February).
Trojan Rocket (12/1, Kempton, 24 February), Theatre Guide (8/1, Kempton, 27 February) and W Six Times (8/1, Ayr, 16 February) ensured Steve Jones’ Daily Bargain enjoyed a profitable February while First Favourite bounced back from last month’s small loss with yet another profit. This was the 18th time in 22 months that this outstandingly consistent service has ended up in the black, a staggering long-term display of discipline and consistency.
Talking of discipline, that is what we will all need now as the Cheltenham Festival threatens to sweep us up in its thrall. Remember to bet with caution: it’s a four-day fiesta so don’t overdo it and blow your money on a good thing in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Whether you will be attending in person, or watching on television, enjoy and don’t forget to follow us on twitter to see how the professionals are coping.