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Maximising yields from regional tipsters

One aspect of Napcheckers that I have found intriguing is the frequency of winning naps at local tracks by tipsters from regional papers. Was this, I wondered, a lucrative path to pursue, or would the trail lead nowhere? It was, of course, entirely possible that the results would show no discernible difference, or even a significant loss. Whatever the outcome, I was keen to find out.

As many Napcheckers will know, certain tipsters have outstanding records when following particular trainers – the result of astute information gathering and the knowledge of when and where particular trainers send their potential winners. It would also make sense to assume that localised information gathering could lead to profits as track characteristics and, perhaps, confidence seeping out of small stables regarding a charge’s chances would reach the local press representative.

To test out whether there was any validity to the local knowledge theory, I examined the records of seven tipsters from regionally-based papers featured in Napchecker, namely: The Western Morning News (covering Devon, Somerset and Dorset), the Daily Record and The Scotsman (covering Scotland), The Yorkshire Post and the Sheffield Star, and two Lancashire papers, the Oldham Evening Chronicle and the Blackpool Gazette. I looked at results from the start of 2017 up to and including 8 October.

With one striking exception, the results were patchy. They go some way to dispelling the generalisation that local knowledge is worth following blindly. Only two of the seven napsters showed a clear improvement on return on investment (ROI) when they advised naps at local courses. ROI is based on profit made (minus stake) divided by total amount staked. It offers a more reliable guide to profitability than, for example, strike-rates, which can be misleading as they do not reflect the odds, or stake size.

The two napsters with improved ROIs were the Oldham Evening Chronicle and The Scotsman. The Blackpool Gazette’s ROI was roughly the same, while the Daily Record, The Yorkshire Post and the Sheffield Star all posted poorer ROI’s on local bets than on overall figures. The seventh napster, the Western Morning News was unusual in that they rarely advised local tips, despite covering an area with a number of tracks – more so, in fact, than both the Lancashire papers, whose catchment area included only Haydock (and, at a push, Cartmel and Aintree).

The most interesting results are those of The Scotsman. More than a quarter of their naps were for horses running at Scottish tracks and the results indicated that, in this case at least, there was something to say for following the local advice. ROI was significantly improved when compared to overall results, and there were few alarming losing sequences. More dramatic, however, was the record of naps at Perth. Eleven 2017 naps at Scone Park course yielded four winners (12/1, 12/1, 6/1 and 5/2) resulting in a 21.50-point profit and a remarkable ROI of 295%.

Of course, these figures could well be a one-off in the sense that future returns at Perth may not yield the same profits, but the point is that a little digging will unearth some gems. Napchecker can be used to identify sequences while they are happening. It may take a little bit of work, but who’s afraid of a little bit of toil if the rewards are there?

Date Published: 09/10/2017