Mark Your Card surge into commanding lead in the Besttipping Challenge


Mark Your Card’s blazing summer continued in August, with a 72.6-point yield earning a third consecutive monthly crown. Daily Bargain finished second in the list with a 19-point gain, while Probets, Personal Info and Personal Info-Saturday Only also secured August profits.

From the opening day of the month, Mark Your Card were in sensational form. The veteran Lightning Spear – a confident 11/1 advice in Goodwood’s Sussex Stakes (1 August) - heralded a succession of monster-priced successes which included another Goodwood scorcher, Don Armado (12/1 advice, 3 August). Outrageous Romana won at 10/1 at Bangor the same day, while 8 August saw victories by 25/1 advice First Dance at Pontefract and 20/1 advice Katie Lee (Kempton).

Orvar (16/1, Doncaster, 18 August), Bon Chic (14/1, Cartmel, 25 August) and Excellent George (20/1, Newmarket, 25 August) ensured that there was no relief for the bookmaking fraternity. Mark Your Card’s August return was the highest since the same tipster’s October 2017 return of 115.8 points.

It means that, with four months to go, Mark Your Card have carved out a 60.2-point advantage at the top of the Besttipping Challenge. Their overall profit for the year currently stands at 149.7 points, with last year’s champion, Steve Jones Daily Bargain, sitting in second spot with a 2018 yield of 89.5 points.

Ironically, Daily Bargain’s August return of 19 points actually bettered July’s table-topping return of 15.6 points by Mark Your Card, but that’s how it is sometimes. With just one losing month so far this year, Jones’ long-established service remains in robust health; there’s still plenty to play for, particularly if there’s to be a replay of the five-day period between 4 and 8 August when all four Daily Bargain selections prevailed. Gifted Master’s 20/1 success in the Stewards’ Cup started the sequence which continued with the wins of Kingstreet Lady (10/1 advice, Carlisle, 6 August), Breden (10/1 advice, Newbury, 7 August) and Fortune And Glory (5/1 advice, Kempton, 8 August).

Probets, Jones’ second service, has also maintained good form throughout the year. August’s 4.7-point yield was a sixth monthly profit out of eight so far this year and helped to swell 2018’s profit to 41.3 points. August’s return was 9 winning selections out of 29 (31% strike-rate) with a further seven second places and four thirds. All nine winners were priced at 5/4 or better with 13/2 advice Extrasolar (Catterick, 7 August) and 4/1 Sir Dancealot (Newbury, 18 August) leading the way.

It will come as no surprise to learn that August was another winning month for Personal Info and Personal Info-Saturday Only. In the case of Personal Info this was a seventh profitable return out of eight so far in 2018, while the Saturday service has only missed out on a profit on two occasions.

Personal Info’s August strike-rate was 44.44% with eight winning selections including 9/4 advice Tarboosh at Hamilton Park (4 August). Dutching remains a key element of Personal Info’s modus operandi – and a lucrative one at that. August’s four such bets were all winners.

Tarboosh was also advised by Personal Info’s Saturday Only service, which made it 35 winning months out of 49 since joining Besttipping mid-way through 2014.

It seems only yesterday that we saw in 2018, but, unbelievably, we are two thirds of the way through the year. But the Flat season has bags of big-races to come, starting with the Sprint Cup at Haydock and then Doncaster’s St Leger Festival. And the big jumping stables are starting to welcome back the stars, so there’s plenty of action to come before 2018 can be put to bed.