Slimline tonic - Mark Your Card's new lean approach pays off
Mark Your Card’s new selective approach proved perfectly suited to August’s conditions. Fifty-three selections yielded a 21.7-point profit and top position in the month’s listings.
August also proved profitable for Personal Info, whose Mainline service secured a 2.7-point profit, with a 50% strike-rate.
Not so long ago, Mark Your Card were regularly supplying more than 250 bets per month. Now, however, the average is nearer to sixty, with many non-betting days. August saw nine days of action with the result being an impressive 44% return on investment.
The Stewards’ Cup, run on the final day of Glorious Goodwood is a curious race for backers. Three of the last six renewals have gone to the favourite, but the other three winners during this period were all priced at 20/1 or more. This trio included the most recent winner, Summerghand, who obliged for jockey Daniel Tudhope and trainer David O’Meara at rewarding odds of 22/1 – not a bad price for a horse that had been threatening to win a big sprint handicap for some time. Mark Your Card’s subscribers knew this, of course, as the horse was strongly recommended by the multiple-times Besttipping champion.
There were several other big hits during the month, notably Kaisan (11/1, Wolverhampton) and Beeno (7/1, Cartmel), who both won on 23 August, but a major contributor to August’s profits were a sequence of decently priced each-way selections who finished in the money. These included 33/1 Dream Today (Goodwood, 1 August), Circuit (25/1, Catterick, 4 August), Coverham (28/1, Sandown, 7 August), and two at York on 22 August: Euchen Glen (25/1) and Anythingtoday (33/1). These last two selections both finished fifth; Mark Your Card is an expert at rooting out extra-place offers.
Personal Info also benefited from judicious each-way selections that earned place money. The most notable example was Ballymilan (28/1), who closed well to claim third in a nine-runner novice hurdle at Uttoxeter on 22 August.
Overall, this was an extremely satisfying month for Personal Info with seven winners emerging from 14 bets. These included Night Moment (2/1, Lingfield, 26 August), Paloma Blue (2/1, Wexford, 29 August) and two 13/8 shots, Veracious (Haydock, 8 August) and Finans Bay (Leopardstown, 20 August).
Veracious was also a winner for Personal Info’s Saturday Only service, while four of the month’s other seven selections were placed (including Ballymilan – see above). It all added up to a 0.2-point profit – the fourth winning month out of six so far this year.
Steve Jones’ Daily Bargain suffered a rare losing month in August. Cappananty Con (Lingfield) was a nice 10/1 winner on 4 August while Montatham (8/1, York, 20 August) and Turn On The Charm (11/2, Kempton, 18 August) also hit the mark, but the month ended with a 3.5-point loss.
Jones other service, Probets, after two table-topping performances, fell back to earth with a 19-point loss. Four winners were advised, but no fewer than sixteen selections placed second or third. With 70% of selections making the first three you would be confident of registering a profit, but sometimes the fates are against you, as was the case here.
As a result of August’s profits, Mark Your Card are now leading the 2020 Besttipping table for the first time this year. The annual yield of 38.9 points is 1.9 points ahead of old adversary Daily Bargain.
Another table-topping return for in-form Probets
Probets followed June’s table-topping performance with another stellar effort in July. Once again, Steve Jones’ service claimed top position in the month’s Besttipping listing and Jones also claimed second place with multiple champion Daily Bargain.
In June, nine of Probets 30 selections prevailed, producing a 5.5-point profit, when other services were struggling following the two-month hiatus. July’s return was even more impressive – ten winners from 30 and a 7.4-point yield.
Daily Bargain earned a 6.0-point profit, narrowly succumbing to their stablemate. But this effort strengthened Daily Bargain’s hand in the overall 2020 Besttipping crown. The defending champion now has a 40.55-point gain for the year, with nearest challenger, Mark Your Card, some way adrift with a 17.22 -point return.
Probets joined Besttipping in 2013 and, despite living in the shadow of Daily Bargain, the service has posted profits in each of the last six years, with 2018’s return of 62 points the highlight.
July’s results showed a remarkable level of consistency with winners arriving at regular intervals. The longest losing sequence was just six, and along with the ten winners, seven other selections came in second or third. Winners included 5/1 Champagne Terri (Ayr, 14 July), 4/1 Erissimus Maximus (Haydock, 3 July), 7/2 River Dawn (Kempton, 1 July), 100/30 The Dancing Poet (Catterick, 15 July) and 3/1 Space Blues (Goodwood, 28 July).
July’s tussle between the two Jones’ service went to the wire; had Daily Bargain’s last day selection, Under The Stars, been successful the finishing positions would have been reversed.
As it was, Under The Stars failed to add to Daily Bargain’s earlier July winners, Salvalas (5/1, Wolverhampton, 2 July), Cape Coast (14/1, Newmarket, 10 July) and Tangled (10/1, Beverley, 17 July).
July was an agonising month for Personal Info Saturday Only: seven selections, six in the first three, but only one in the all-important winning berth. That was Tullybeg (4/5, Bellewstown, 4 July). A little good fortune, and a loss of 3.7 points would have been transformed into a nice profit.
It was a similar scenario with Personal Info. Eleven of the month’s fifteen selections finished in the money but just three got their noses in front with the David O’Meara-trained filly Brazen Belle (2/1, Catterick, 15 July) heading the list.
Mark Your Card began the month slowly, but ended with a flurry, thanks to the 25/1 victory of Melbourne Cup bound Just Hubert in the Goodwood Handicap. This victory made a big hole in Mark Your Card’s July loss, and the Stewards’ Cup success of Summerghand the following day ensured August began profitably.
So, after two hectic months of catch-up, the season is starting to return to something like normal – if you can describe meetings without crowds and jockeys and racecourse staff in masks as normal. York’s Ebor Meeting (19-22 August) is the upcoming highlight while there is plenty on offer for fans of all forms of racing in the next few weeks.