PERSONAL INFO TAKE THE HONOURS IN SOGGY JANUARY
January is best put behind us. More than a third of all fixtures were lost to a combination of rain, frost and snow, making the search for winners an even more taxing occupation than normal. This was especially true in the last third of the month when more than half the scheduled fixtures were lost.
In light of this, Personal Info deserve great credit in coming through the month with very little damage. The mainline service posted a diddy 0.1-point loss, while the Saturday-Only service registered a small 3.4-point reversal.
Mark Your Card wisely went easy with the tips, posting just 22 – an all-time record low for this once prolific service. But the means justified the ends and an 8.8-point loss was no disaster.
Steve Jones’ Daily Bargain, last year’s champion, finished the month with a 13-point loss, while Jones second service, Probets was down 15 points. But Jones refused to hide away, and continued advising selections as the month reached its soggy, damp conclusion.
Although missing out on a profit by a whisker, Personal Info’s table-topping effort was commendable. The month began with Join Forces who, on his racecourse debut, just failed to hang on to second spot on the All-Weather at Lingfield (2 January). This result had long-term consequences, because had Callum Shepherd’s mount clung on to second, Personal Info would be celebrating a profitable month. Such are the narrow margins between profit and loss.
Witness Protection, a 9/2 winner on Chepstow’s Welsh National card (9 January), and Eyes (a successful 3/1 advice at Chelmsford that night) set things right, and the winning mood continued with the Naas victory of 11/4 advice On Eagles Wings four days.
And the month ended in style with Tamborrada (1/2 advice, Lingfield, 29 January) and Devizes (13/8, Kempton, 30 January) both winning.
Thanks to the wins of Witness Protection, Eyes, Tamborrada and Devizes, there was further cause for celebration as the same operator’s Saturday Only service took second place in the January table – the first time since September 2017 that Personal Info has achieved this notable feat.
Woke Media (5/1) an Al Suil Eile (9/2) gave Mark Your Card a day to remember on 10 January with wins at Southwell, but it was otherwise a quiet month.
As mentioned, the Steve Jones services, Daily Bargain and Probets, both toiled with limited success. Daily Bargain did start with a nice winner at Plumpton on 3 January, Seaston Spirit (5/1), but that, and the success of Ventura Lightning (8/1, Newcastle, 12 January) apart, this was a testing month for the reigning champs.
Probets again suffered the agony of multiple placed selections. Nineteen of the month’s 30 selections finished in the first three, but only four of those managed to find their way into the winners’ enclosure. They included Lihou (4/1, Wolverhampton, 11 January) and Inaam (3/1, Wolverhampton, 4 January).
So, what will February bring? With the Cheltenham Festival looming, February’s action is often overlooked or regarded as an appetiser for the big feast. But the month has plenty to offer, starting with this weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown, which will feature many of Ireland’s brightest stars. And with Cheltenham’s trials day lost to the weather, there will be plenty of festival candidates looking for preps this side of the water, also.