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Back-to-back winners seal May glory for Garry Owen

Garry Owen was the impressive winner of the May Napchecker Naps challenge. The Daily Record pundit finished the month with a 27.5-point return. In the end, the margin of victory was a comfortable 11 points, although with challengers emerging in the last week, it appeared as though the outcome would be far closer. Marlborough eventually finished second on 16.5 points, ahead of Robin Goodfellow (14.6 points) and Scout (13.4 points).

No fewer than 12 tipsters posted May profits, by far the best overall return of the year.

Garry Owen got off to a flying start with three winners in the first week, all at decent prices: Slate House (4/1, Kempton Park, 2 May), Cleveland (6/1, Chester, 6 May) and Vafortino (16/1, Ascot, 7 May). At that point, the return was 22 points and a May profit was all but assured. But there was no slacking off as a further seven victories followed, with the month ending in a flourish with back-to-back winners Rich Belief (9/2, Kelso, 29 May) and Hebrides (5/2, Newbury, 31 May).

Garry Owen wasn’t alone in finding a 16/1 winning nap as Marlborough began May by napping the 1,000 Guineas, heroine, Cachet. The George Boughey-trained filly was the first of twelve strikes for the Telegraph correspondent. But prices were cramped, meaning that, despite a strike-rate of 40%, Marlborough was unable to get close to Garry Owen.

Marlborough’s win ratio was actually bettered by Robin Goodfellow, who unearthed 12 winners for a 41% strike-rate. Best priced of the dozen was 6/1 Whoputfiftyinyou (Haydock Park, 21 May).

Scout also started strongly, with three winners in an opening six-day salvo including 8/1 Hereditary Rule (Ayr, 3 May). Later successes included Cruyff Turn, the 8/1 winner of York’s Hambleton Handicap (12 May).

Three of Postdata’s ten winning naps came in a frenetic four-day period mid-month. Udaberri (15/2, Salisbury, 12 May) was followed by Shine On Brendan (Hamilton Park, 13 May) and Celestial Horizon, who scored at 8/1 at Killarney two days later. The month’s return was 13 points, which in recent months would have guaranteed top spot, but on this occasion could only secure fifth place.

Sixth-placed Glendale experienced an uneven month with seven winners from 13 between 10 and 23 May, but only one from 15 during the opening and closing exchanges. The yield was 8.9 points.

Karl Hedley of the Irish Post returned an 8.6-point profit, his best effort since taking over from Kevin Walsh some months back.

Remarkably, the best strike-rate of the month belonged to eighth-placed Fortunatus – a staggering 52%: fifteen winning naps from 29! This included a sequence of five from five between 4 and 8 May, and four from five between 23 and 28 May. The outcome was a 7.5-point profit with 6/1 Cleveland (Chester, 6 May) topping the list of wins.

Profits also in this month of plenty for Templegate (6.8 points), Newsboy (4.4 points), Racing Post Ratings (2.4 points) and The Duke (0.6 points).

Despite finishing down the field last month, Racing Post Ratings retain the lead in the 2022 naps challenge, although by a much-reduced margin. At the start of May, the advantage over second placed Glendale was almost 15 points. Now the difference between the two is down to 8.3 points with Ratings on 21.8 points and Glendale on 13.5 points. Racing Post Postdata sit in third with 7.6 points and Scout are next with 3.1 points.

Date Published: 04/06/2022