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Napchecker glory beckons for remorseless Walsh

The remorseless Kevin Walsh moved further ahead in the 2020 Napchecker naps challenge, thanks to a third table-topping month out of the last four. The Irish Post’s naps king registered a 19.5-point November yield, finishing well ahead of Racing Post’s Spotlight (5.8 points) and The Duke of the Yorkshire Post (2.7-points).

It means that entering the last month of the year, Walsh has an eleven-month profit of 47.5 points, which is 43.8 points clear of his nearest rival, Robin Goodfellow (The Mail) with 3.7 points.

Remarkably, with ten days of the month to go, Walsh looked to be in trouble. He’d found just one winning nap out of seventeen, and was showing an 11.5-point loss. But the success of Robin Gold (4/1) at Ascot on 21 November changed his fortunes. The next day’s selection was the Sean Curran-trained Unforgiving Minute, who was making his fiftieth racecourse appearance. Despite winning 14 of those contests, the nine-year-old was an unconsidered 33/1 chance, but under 5lb claimer Grace McEntee, Unforgiving Minute scored by half a length.

Walsh topped the naps table in August and again in September, when a 25/1 winner secured top spot. That month his strike-rate was just 10%; in November he flourished despite a 12.5% win-to-runner ratio. Further evidence that profitable napping is not just about short-priced selections.

November was an extraordinary month of feast and famine for Spotlight. The month opened with four successive winners culminating in the 4/1 victory of Soldiers Minute at Kempton (4 November). A twelve-day barren spell followed, but that ended with a five-winner sequence (17-24 November) which secured the month’s profit. But, any hopes of challenging Kevin Walsh for the monthly crown were denied as the month’s final five naps all lost.

Like Spotlight, The Duke won with nine of his November naps, but it needed the success of last day selection Calivigny to secure the month’s profit. Ridden by amateur Kit Alexander, Calivigny (5/1) justified The Duke’s confidence with a neck victory at Ayr.

Turning to the all-selections table, Brian O’Conner (Irish Times) battered the bookies in November. He recorded a huge 52.1-point profit, with a 30% strike-rate, based on a total of 134 tips. Apart from the occasional big meeting in Britain, O’Conner restricts his selections to Irish racing. November’s monster haul included winners priced at 16/1, 14/1 and 10/1, but pride of place went to the filly Miss Sassyboots, a 33/1 winning advice at Dundalk on 18 November.

Curragh Correspondent also hit top form in November with 217 selections yielding a 10-point gain (23% strike-rate) with winners including two 14/1 shots.

Finally, this month, mention of a new facility available at Napchecker.com. You can now download spreadsheets of all trainers’ records dating back to 2006. You can link the download to specific tipsters, or leave this option open, meaning a full list of all the named trainer’s tips will be produced.

As a simple example, I was interested to see if Brian O’Conner had a good record when backing horses saddled by Shane Nolan, Miss Sassyboots’ handler. I quickly established that O’Conner had only advised one previous Nolan runner – Guiding, who finished last of 13 when starting favourite at Dundalk the week before Miss Sassyboots spectacular success. From one simple search I also established that three other tipsters went for Guiding and that Miss Sassyboots was the first Nolan-trained winner to receive a newspaper tipster’s recommendation.

The spreadsheets can be downloaded in two formats (excel and CSV) and they are available free-of-charge to annual subscribers. The downloaded sheets can be edited, so the data can be re-organised to suit the user’s personal requirements. Once again, Napchecker is leading the way in the battle to secure winners!

Date Published: 07/12/2020