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Marlborough storms ahead in naps challenge

Last month’s suggestion that Marlborough might yet have a hand to play in the destiny of this year’s naps table proved to be prescient, as the Telegraph’s senior tipster raced to the top of the table, and then proceeded to build a near impregnable position.

Marlborough’s November tally was 22.7 points, which followed October’s 19.4-point gain. With the Mirror’s Newsboy experiencing a month to forget, and Templegate of the Sun treading water, Marlborough was able, Fionavon-like, to establish an unlikely but decisive lead.

Marlborough finished second in the November naps listing, which was headed in emphatic fashion by Farringdon of the Morning Star, who recorded a 54.2-point profit to a £1 stake, thanks to winners at 40/1, 14s and 10s.

Racing Post’s Postdata came third with an 18.5-point gain with the Guardian next on 11.9 points.

Jordan Nailor’s enterprising ride on Rocco in the 60th Badger Beer Chase at Wincanton on 6 November, earned Farrindon’s followers a 40/1 success. A further eight winners were secured, including Brain Boranha (Catterick, 19 November). And the month ended with a flurry with four wins from the last seven selections - a run that included 10/1 Star Shield (Newcastle, 30 November) and 5/1 Navello (Wolverhampton, 23 November).

Farringdon’s November strike-rate was 31%, but Marlborough ended the month with a remarkable 41% win-to-runner ratio. The 2019 champion finished up with 12 winning selections from 29, with an average SP of almost 4/1. The list of winners was topped by Mr Washington (14/1, Chepstow, 19 November), Robinshill (17/2, Leicester, 15 November) and Thomas Darby (7/1, Newbury, 26 November.

Midnight Shadow (9/1, Cheltenham, 13 November) and Jens Boy (8/1, Plumpton 15 November) were the main contributors to Racing Post Postdata’s 18.5-point yield. This was a distinct month of two halves: six winners from the first 16 naps, then just a further two from the last 13.

The Guardian finished with a 39% strike-rate and an 11.9-point profit. Winners came at regular intervals, with just a barren five-day period between 8 and 12 November spoiling the rhythm.

Like Postdata, the Guardian earmarked Midnight Shadow (9/1) before his impressive Paddy Power Gold Cup win at Cheltenham (13 November).

Of the others, Glendale of the Scotsman just missed out on a November profit, while Templegate’s 1-point loss was hardly a disaster. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Newsboy, whose sizable lead at the start of the month evaporated as a result of losing sequences of eight and seventeen.

Newsboy was not the only struggler as those usually reliable guides, Fortunatus, Scout, Rob Wright and Spotlight, also floundered.

Turning to the all-tips table, November’s list was headed by the Irish Sun, which tends to concentrate on domestic action. Two 16/1 winners, Itsallabouteve (Limerick, 16 November) and Tara Power (Dundalk, 3 November), headed the roll-of-honour which also included three 12/1 shots and two at 11s. A 15 pt yield was the end result.

There was no doubting the most impressive achievement of the month. On the eve of bonfire night, Garry Owen of the Daily Record went through the eight-race card at Chelmsford with winners at 11/1, 8/1, 13/2 and 11/2. The accumulator odds? 364,863/1.

Congratulations, also, to Robin Goodfellow (the Mail) who managed to find six of the seven winners at Wolverhampton on 30 November.

Date Published: 03/12/2021