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Tabloid titans top April listing

Those old tabloid adversaries, Newsboy (the Mirror) and Templegate (the Sun) where locked together in a thrilling battle for top position in the April Napchecker Naps table. Newsboy just edged the race with a 22.1-point yield, less than three points ahead of his rival. West Tip finished third in the listings with a 50% strike-rate generating a 15.4-point return. Marlborough made a welcome return to form, claiming fourth place with a 12.2-point profit.

In total, nine of the 17 tipsters engaged in the naps race registered profitable April figures, up by a third on March’s efforts.

Ten of Newsboy’s 26 naps in April were winners, a list headed by the 11/1 Aintree success of Minella Times (10 April). Mighty Thunder (8/1, Ayr, 18 April) also made a telling contribution while the absence of a long losing run was another welcome feature.

In contrast, Templegate suffered a nine-day losing sequence mid-month, although winners flowed either side of this drought. Successes included Potterman (12/1, Sandown, 24 April) and Avorisk Et Perils (8/1 Lingfield, 7 April).

It’s rare for a napster to nail a 50% strike-rate, but that was exactly what the Western Morning News’ West Tip achieved in April with 20 selections yielding 10 winners. Five of the ten were odds-on choices, but Knappers Hill (8/1, Aintree, 10 April) and 13/2 Spantik (Sedgefield, 20 April) ensured a handsome April dividend.

Belfast Banter, winner of the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, made a successful return to novice company when winning the Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree (9 April). This 9/1 winner spearheaded Marlborough’s renaissance in April with the Telegraph’s pundit scoring with nine naps (36%).

A six-day losing sequence from 18 April restricted The Duke’s April return. But the Yorkshire Post’s napster still ended the month with a pleasing 7.1-point haul. That secured fifth place in the listings ahead of Racing Post Spotlight, Garry Owen (Daily Record), Robin Goodfellow (Mail) and Glendale (Scotsman) – who all posted positive returns ranging from 5.7 points to 2.5.

Thanks to April’s strong performance, Newsboy climbed from fourth position to first in the overall 2021 table with a 25.8-point profit. Racing Post Spotlight sit in second on 13.5 points while Fortunatus drop from first to third (13.2 points). Rob Wright (The Times) is fourth with 9.9 points just ahead of Scout (Express) on 9.3.

Not surprisingly, there was nothing to match Scout’s sensational March tipping effort in April. With the jumpers winding down, and the major Flat stables just getting off the ground, April is often a testing month for general tips, and so it proved this time around.

With the 2020/21 jumps season now complete a few random stats that might be of interest. The Guardian boasted a 70% strike-rate when backing Paul Nicholls-trained runners in the first four months of the year with 23 tips producing a 17.9-point return. The same paper also showed a big profit of 15.7 points when advising horses ridden by Harry Cobden (36 instances). The Racing Post’s Postdata advised 86 horses ridden by Harry Skelton during the same period, but only seven ridden by Skelton’s main rival in the jockeys’ championship, Brian Hughes. In both cases small profits were earned.

Date Published: 06/05/2021