Surviving January's storms the Besttipping way
With January's weather producing a soggy carbon copy of the previous two months, it would be no surprise to discover that winner-finding proved a testing challenge this month but, happily, this wasn't the case. Mark Your Card, Besttipping champions in 2014 and '15, once again led the way, with Middleton Racing Services running them close. Personal Info finished third with the same firm's Saturday Only service claiming fourth position. Isiris and James Boyle Racing also posted profits while the other five services were denied profits by narrow margins.
Many meetings were lost to waterlogging, while those fixtures that beat the weather suffered with large numbers of non-runners and withdrawals. As a result there were plenty of upsets. Yet these are the challenges that we expect the leading services to deal with, and once again they proved up to the task.
It would take more than a deluge or six to knock Mark Your Card off their stride. They opened the defence of their crown with a solid 23.1 point gain. Mountainous, winner of the rescheduled Welsh National on 9 January, was a confident 11/1 advice, while other gems included four winning 10/1 advices.
Middleton Racing Services ended 2015 with four profitable months out of five, and the good work continued into the new year. A selective service, which rarely provides more than two bets a week, Middleton found two winners (7/2 and 2/1) from just four selections. And, had Miss Ranger not encountered an Alan King-trained hotpot at Catterick, Middleton would have taken top placing in the January table. As it was, they finished just 2.4 points adrift of Mark Your Card.
Personal Info secured their 16th profitable month out of the last 18 with a solid 11 point yield thanks to a ten-winner January haul (63% strike-rate) Advised odds ranged from 10/11 to 15/2. Those subscribers who opt for Personal Info's Saturday service also had much to celebrate with a 71% strike-rate. Overall, since joining the challenge midway through 2014, the Saturday-Only service has delivered profits in 13 out of 18 months (72% strike-rate).
Bouvreuil, a winning 9/2 advice at Doncaster (8 January), ensured Isiris began the year with a profitable month. It was a similar story with James Boyle Racing. Winning advices included 10/1 King's Odyssey (Cheltenham, 30 January), 8/1 Bold Henry (Sandown, 2 January) and 6/1 Away For Slates (Musselburgh, 1 January). This means that since joining Besttipping in December 2013, Boyle has secured profits in 17 out of a possible 27 months (63% strike-rate).
Steve Jones' two services, Probets and Daily Bargain, First Favourite, Those2oppose and Richard Dunwoody all missed out on a January profit by a whisker. That was literally the case with First Favourite, who missed a 13th successive month of profit by the nose that Steal The Scene was beaten by at Lingfield on 20 January. Nevertheless, First Favourite, along with all services in the challenge have shown early indicators that 2016 will be another year to relish. Much of February's action will be staged with one eye on Cheltenham. Even so, there's much to anticipate with Sandown, Kempton, Ascot and Newcastle all offering classy jumping fare.