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Harvester's month to savour

Sometimes it is the quiet ones you need to watch. Take Harvester, for instance. Only once during July did the Irish Times’ pundit top the daily all-tips listing, but thanks to a steadily accumulative approach, the month ended with a staggering 81.8-point profit and an equally impressive 36% strike-rate.

Winners included 20/1 Roderick at Killarney on 19 July and two 16/1 shots, Emeric (Leopardstown, 13 July) and Spinning Web (Tipperary, 6 July). Already topping the overall table at the start of July (with an 18-point reverse), Harvester is now miles ahead in this race with a 63.5-point return on all-tips so far in 2023.

Along with several other Irish tipsters, Harvester tends to concentrate solely on domestic action. This means the overall number of tips each month is significantly lower than is the case with their UK counterparts. Does this make winner finding easier with fewer races to solve and despite larger field sizes, a smaller number of horses in training? This might be the case, but what about the seemingly high proportion of big priced race winners Irish racing seems to produce? Something to dwell on perhaps?

Before leaving the all-tips category, a mention to Postdata, who topped the July all-tips list for selections returning sps of 20/1 or more. Thanks to Soul Seeker (25/1, York, 29 July) and Outrace (20/1, Bath 12 July), Postdata finished with a 26-point reward (10% strike-rate). The next best was Curragh Correspondent with a 15-point yield (9%).

Turning to the naps table, Fortunatus just got the better of Rob Wright after a close contest. Fortunatus ended the month 17.6 points ahead, while Wright finished on 16.4 points and had the better strike-rate, 43% to 41%. Postdata, who finished third with a 1.5-point profit, was also a contender for much of the month before fading away in the last week or so.

The winners flowed for Fortunatus, with only a four-day losing run spoiling the party. Six of the month’s first ten naps were successful, including Sound Reason at Beverley (8/1, 7 July) and Perotto at Sandown (5/1, 8 July). Although unable to sustain that level, selections continued to oblige including 4/1 Prosecco (Sandown, 27 July) and Hukum, the 13/2 winner of the King George at Ascot (29 July).

It was much the same story for Rob Wright: after a strong start (7 winners from the first 14 selections) a five-day losing streak (15-20 July) was followed by a good finale which saw five more wins from ten. Best priced of the 12 successes was Isle Of Jura (5/1, Newbury, 21 July).

Postdata made a bright start to the month, but the conclusion was far from satisfactory with just two successes from 13. A potential double-digit profit shrank down to just 1.5 points.

Glendale’s 0.8-point profit would have been higher but for a sequence of six losers in succession mid-month. Despite this, a 41% strike-rate represented a decent month’s work.

July’s hard luck stories included Marlborough, who missed out on a profit by a fraction, while Templegate posted a 1.8-point loss, despite a sturdy 38% strike-rate. Along with Marlborough and Templegate, several other services finished frustratingly close to the profit zone.

Date Published: 07/08/2023