William Hill

Marlborough extends lead in naps challenge

Marlborough’s prospects of winning the 2019 Napchecker Naps Challenge were given a huge boost in November as nearest rivals, Glendale, suffered a 5.2-point reversal. It means that despite a relatively modest profit of 0.6 points, Marlborough extended his lead from 9.4 points to more than 15 points.

November’s champion was The Scout of the Daily Express, who posted a 13.3-point profit, denying in-form Racing Post Ratings by just three tenths of a point. Another Racing Post service, Spotlight, claimed third position (2.0 points) with Marlborough fourth.

Eleven of The Scout’s 28 naps prevailed (38% strike-rate) with pride of place belonging to the Neil Mulholland-trained Walt, who scored gamely at Taunton on 14 November at 16/1. Earlier, the month began with a bang with six winning naps out of ten, including 4/1 Young Rascal (Kempton, 4 November).

Racing Post Ratings made it four winning months out of the last five with a 13-0-point yield (34% strike-rate). Again, this return was built around a strong opening with six successful naps in the month’s first 11 days including 7/1 King Of Tonga (Newmarket, 2 November) and 11/1 Jeffrey Harris (Newcastle, 8 November).

Spotlight’s first profitable return since June was earned after a slow start. Only two of the month’s first 13 selections hit the mark, but of the next 17 naps, eight triumphed. Best priced of the ten successes were 9/2 Kingrullah (Sedgefield, 14 November) and 7/2 Timely Gift (Plumpton, 18 November).

Marlborough’s 39% win-strike-rate was the best of the month, beating The Scout’s 38%. Astonishingly, the Telegraph’s napster has maintained a 43% success rate throughout 2019. That’s 11% ahead of The Scout, the second placed service on strike-rate.

November’s tally of eleven wins from 28 naps was achieved after a sluggish start which saw just two out the first 12 naps score. Of the next sixteen naps, nine won. The longest losing sequence during this period was just two. Prices tended to the short, but given Marlborough’s overall success, that cannot be an issue. Flow Away (9/2, Uttoxeter, 24 November) and Thomas Macdonagh (7/2, Wetherby, 27 November) registered the month’s biggest SPs.

Glendale’s month began brightly: three winning naps in the opening six days pushed The Scotsman’s napster up to 33.9 points. During the same period, Marlborough suffered a 2.5-point loss. This left Glendale half a point clear, but it was downhill thereafter as only four of the remaining 22 selections justified Glendale’s confidence.

Given Glendale’s November reversal, it will take a monumental effort to overthrow Marlborough. A 15.2-point difference is not insurmountable, but it requires some big priced strikes to reduce the arrears. It also requires Marlborough’s form to fall apart, something that, on the strength of recent evidence, looks unlikely.

STOP PRESS

With bad weather intervening, its been a slow start to December. Nevertheless, West Tip (Western Morning News) and Farringdon (Morning Star) have both started the month with two winners from two.

Date Published: 03/12/2019