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16/1 Lingfield strike secures January crown for Postdata

Despite a humble strike-rate of 16%, the Racing Post’s Postdata stole the January honours in the Napchecker naps challenge with a 5.6-point yield.

In what was a tough month, the only other tipster to post a profit with naps was the Guardian, who finished 0.1 points up, letting a commanding position slip. The Daily Record’s Garry Owen finished third with a 0.5-point loss, but the 2021 champ, Marlborough, experienced a chastening month, registering just one win and a whopping 28.8-point loss.

Postdata began the year with a winner – Full Back (9/2, Cheltenham, 1 January) but then hit the rocks, finding just one winner in the next twenty. A recovery started at Ascot on 22 January with the victory of the J P McManus-owned Phoenix Way. Then, four days later, Postdata floored the bookies with the success of 16/1 chance The Resdev Way at Lingfield.

The Guardian started the year in great style with seven winning naps from 13 with La Tihaty (6/1, Chepstow, 6 January) spearheading the charge. At the close of action on 14 January, the Guardian was seven points clear of the field, but apart from Percy Willis (4/1, Southwell, 19 January) the rest of the month was barren.

Garry Owen (Daily Record) was in good form for much of January, but with the last four naps all beaten, a potential profit was denied. Best of the month’s eight winning naps was the first, Fairlawn Flyer, successful at Ffos Las on 5 January at odds of 6/1.

Vienna Court, a 10/1 winner at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, gave Rob Wright a dream start to 2022. The Times’ tipster augmented this with the victory of Race Card (4/1, Wolverhampton) four days later. But from that point on, winner-finding proved more of a test with only two of the last sixteen naps delivering. As a result, the month ended with a small loss of 2.5 points.

Racing Post Ratings’ cause was aided by the victory of 17/2 shot Celma Des Bois at Leicester on 12 January. A further seven naps came home in front, but as prices were short, an overall loss of 2.6 points was recorded.

Templegate (-3.5 points) and Scout (-4.4 points) also had their days without finding the value prices that secure profits. At least Scout could claim the month’s top strike-rate: 30%.

Perhaps the most startling feature of the month was the demise of Marlborough. The Telegraph’s pundit was unable to put a foot wrong in the later stages of 2021, but 2022 started dismally with just one winner in the opening month. Of course, last year Marlborough was toiling for much of the time, before a sustained period of profitability turned things upside down; In the end, victory was secured was something in hand.

Turning to the January all-tips table, Harvester (Irish Times) secured a 13.2-point profit on domestic racing, while the best return by a UK-based pundit was Templegate’s 36.8-point loss.

From a punting perspective, few will mourn the passing of January. The new month promises much with this weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown kickstarting the action.

Date Published: 05/02/2022