Sandbets excel but Mark Your Card move into top spot
Racing has a tendency to produce repeat winners; horses, owners, trainers and jockeys often have favourite races that they run up sequences of successes. Golden Miller won five consecutive Gold Cups, trainers such as Gosden, Stoute, O’Brien and Nicholls all target specific races with great success. I could go on. It’s often the same with tipsters. For instance, the last four October crowns have gone the way of Mark Your Card. Quite an Octoberfest. Meanwhile, Steve Jones’ services seem to flourish in May with Daily Bargain claiming top honours in 2017 and ’18 with Probets triumphing this year.
Another sequence might be emerging: Sandbets, who topped the Besttipping list last September, repeated the feat this time around. And, as if to emphasise the sense of déjà vu, Mark Your Card finished second on both occasions.
Last year’s tally for Sandbets was 54.02 points. This year’s figure was 25.6 points, giving the all- weather specialist a 10-point margin of victory. Personal Info and Personal Info Saturday Only maintained their outstanding record of churning out profitable months while Jones’ two services, Daily Bargain and Probets, also secured profitable returns.
Sandbets joined Besttipping midway through 2018, and began impressively with three consecutive months of profit. A lean period followed, but September saw a return to form heralded by the victory of 12/1 Muqarred (Southwell, 19 September) and successes of two 11/1 shots at Chelmsford City, Fragrant Belle (14 September) and Broughton Excels (26 September). The former Great Leighs proved a fruitful hunting ground for Sandbets in September: 4 wins from 16 selections produced a nice 21.56-point profit with a return of investment of more than 143%.
Although denied top position in September, Mark Your Card could take satisfaction that they have regained the lead in the overall table. A monthly yield of 15.7 points pushed the 2019 return to 105.6 points, 14.3 points ahead of Daily Bargain, who held a narrow lead at the end of August. Although applying a more selective approach these days, with many days passing without bets, there were still plenty of eye-catching winners for Mark Your Card with 12/1 Amor Kethley (Chelmsford City, 21 September) and 10/1 Twin Appeal (Thirsk, 16 September) leading the way.
In the 27-month period between July 2017 and September 2019, Personal Info secured 22 profitable months out of 27 – an enviable 81.48% strike rate. The latest effort – a 3.4-point return – was the result of a month festooned with winners. Seventeen races yielded 12 winning advices including Spanish Mission (11/4, Belmont Park, 7 September), Queen’s Magic (7/4, Worcester, 10 September) and Threat (11/8 (Doncaster, 14 September).
Five winning advices steered Personal Info’s Saturday-Only service towards a 2.9-point September harvest with winners including Spanish Mission and Threat (see above for details).
Epaulement (9/2 advice, but down to 2/1 at the off, Haydock, 5 September) was one of eight winners from 28 selections for Steve Jones’ Probets in September. This resulted in a 2-point profit. Stable companion Daily Bargain recorded a seventh profitable month from nine in 2019 – just. Graceful Magic, a 9/1 winner at Doncaster (9 September) was one of three winners, securing a 0.5-point yield.
We are entering the last quarter of the year, and, as previously noted, October is usually a strong month for Mark Your Card. Can them emulate Golden Miller and make it five wins on the bounce? We shall soon see.