Mark Your Card and Daily Bargain bring light in dark times
While the world gets to grips on the Covid-19 virus, racing, understandably, has taken a back seat. At first, attempts were made to race behind closed doors. That plan quickly dissolved in Britain but lasted long enough in Ireland to see the opening day of the Flat season. But then, after a jumps fixture at Clonmel on 24 March, the Irish also decided to stop racing altogether.
The Cheltenham Festival already seems to belong to another era, yet the memories of those four days will need to sustain racing lovers for some time to come. A rare dual Gold Cup winner; a potential superstar in the shape of Envoi Allen; a deserved reward for Politologue in the Champion Chase; a new hurdling champion; and a shock Stayer’s Hurdle winner.
From Besttipping’s point-of-view, the month was dominated by those two doughty rivals, Daily Bargain and Mark Your Card. Having finished top of the table in December, January and February, Steve Jones’ Daily Bargain was seeking a rare fourth successive monthly win, but was denied by Mark Your Card, who claimed a first monthly success since July 2019.
With a 532-1 double at Downpatrick on 22 March, Mark Your Card supplanted Daily Bargain at the head of the March list, and though Daily Bargain remained open for business, advising selections from Hong Kong and Australia, Jones’ was unable to claw back the ground lost by Mark Your Card’s audacious Downpatrick success.
The Ulster National success of Space Cadet, a reject from Gordon Elliott’s stable now trained by Gearoid O’Loughlin, was the stuff of dreams for Mark Your Card’s followers. The ten-year-old was sent off at 40/1 in the 3m 4 ½f contest at Downpatrick on 22 March. This followed the 12/1 success of another MYC selection, Benefit North in the previous contest and came twenty-four hours after the victory of Well Joey at Thurles at 25/1. Other March winners for Mark Your Card included 11/1 Aleef (Southwell, 5 March) and 8/1 Red Stripes (Southwell, 3 March).
In total, Mark Your Card recorded a 40.1-point March yield with Daily Bargain registering a 24.5- point profit.
Five of Daily Bargain’s 23 March selections were winners. In date order, these where: Glan Y Gors (13/2, Wolverhampton, 6 March), The Conditional (9/1, Cheltenham, 10 March), Fit For Function (13/2, Dundalk, 20 March), Ask Heather (14/1, Clonmel, 24 March) and Real Key (13/2, Wagga, 30 March).
The ongoing profitability of Daily Bargain’s Cheltenham Festival selections was highlighted in last month’s article, and, thanks to the Ultima Handicap Chase success of the David Bridgwater-trained The Conditional, another winning year was recorded.
The second of the Jones services, Probets, was denied a winning March by a mere 0.6 points. Flowery (11/2, Sedgefield, 1 March) and Al Boum Photo (4/1, Cheltenham Gold Cup, 13 March) were the best priced of seven winners found last month.
Not surprisingly, given the current circumstances, several Besttipping tipsters have closed shop for the time being. The exceptions being the two Steve Jones’ services Daily Bargain and Probets, who are scouring the form guides of the world to bring subscribers selections each day. We will keep you informed of their progress and other news when it comes.
In the meantime, stay safe and remain positive. This will end.