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Captain John hits top form with a 25.3-point yield

February proved to be another trying month, but Captain John of The Irish Times bucked the trend with a pulsating 25.3-point return on all tips. No other tipster managed to post a profit, but fellow Irish Times pundits, Brian O’Conner and Harvester fared best of the rest, claiming second and third positions in the all-tips table, albeit with small losses.

For the second consecutive month, The Racing Post’s Postdata took the honours in the naps list, this time with a 3.2-point return. There was a rare dead-heat for second between another Racing Post service, Ratings, and Fortunatus of the Sheffield Star. Scout of the and Robin Goodfellow also posted fractional profits at the end of a generally tough month; few would mourn its passing.

Irish-based tipsters tend to fare better than their UK-based counterparts, primarily because they tend to concentrate solely on domestic racing. This means they post far less tips. Captain John and Captain Keen of the Irish Independent, however, are exceptions to that rule as they take in British racing as well as the local variety.

So, in view of this, Captain John’s 25.3-point February return was an exceptional effort, particularly as this figure relates to SP; the equivalent profit for all bets settled to the best available price is a staggering 85.1 points.

Captain John overcame a slow start to the month. The first ten days’ action resulted in a loss of almost 29 points, but the recovery began on 11 February with a 35.4-point yield on the day. This windfall included 20/1 Cochise (Southwell) and 14/1 Salvatore (Bangor). A 15.3-point profit followed the next day with a 44% strike-rate. Five out of seven Uttoxeter selections obliged, while the Lingfield and Warwick cards both featured four winning advices.

Any risk of the month’s good work being undone by a poor finale was eliminated when the results for 25 February came through. They showed another huge yield – 32.8pts return – which included two successful 14/1 advices and a sequence of four winning selections from five at Warwick, which is clearly a popular course for the Captain.

A nap, of course, is generally assumed to be the strongest card in a pundit’s hand. But some months are harder to predict than others. This was certainly the case in February. Nap yields were small, despite reasonable strike-rates.

Top spot went to the Racing Post’s Postdata service which, despite a better-than-average strike-rate of 35%, could only muster a profit of 3.2 points. (Last month, the same service headed the list was a 5.6-point return, acquired with a strike-rate of just 16%) The best priced winner was 13/2 Lucky Ava (Chelmsford City, 3 February), one of six winning selections out of seven in a brilliant start of the month. At that point, a big fat profit looked to be accruing, but despite a further three winners, that profit shrunk as the month progressed, not helped by a run of six losers as February reached its conclusion.

Despite this, no other tipster was able to find the momentum to challenge Postdata: Racing Post Ratings and Fortunatus both posted 0.33-point profits, just ahead of Scout of the Express (0.31 points, 37% strike-rate) and the Mail’s Robin Goodfellow (0.25 points).

Two months down, and Postdata stands alone in the naps table as the only tipster with an overall profit (8.8 points). Racing Post Ratings (-2.3 points) and Scout (-4.1) are next in the list.

Date Published: 05/03/2022