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Tully East steers The Times to March glory

Rob Wright of The Times and the Blackpool Gazette’s Simpson fought a terrific battle for the honour of finishing top of the March naps list, with the Thunderer’s tipster prevailing by the narrowest of margins – a mere 0.2 of a point. The Guardian were third with Garry Owen of the Daily Record placed fourth.

Wright and Simpson differ in the methodology, with Simpson favouring shorter priced runners and Wright taking a few risks. Simpson scored with eleven of his 26 naps (42%), but Wright’s approach just gave him the edge. Of 29 selections, six were successful including 8/1 Cheltenham festival scorer Tully East (14 March), 6/1 Cohesion (Wolverhampton, March) and 11/2 Jack Blane (Wolverhampton, 25 March). The best priced of Simpson’s eleven victors was 11/2 Spiritual Star (Wolverhampton, 28 March)

By dint of Tully East’s victory, Wright also headed the naps list for the duration of the four-day Cheltenham meeting. Kevin Walsh of the Irish Post finished second in this list with Wise Owl of the Belfast Newsletter and Marlborough of the Daily Telegraph tying for third spot. Incidentally, the Daily Star’s Patrick Weaver posted a 4.4-point profit on all tips during Cheltenham (including those at other courses). His tally included five festival winners, but he reserved his best for the away meetings, posting two 14/1 winning selections: Bescot Springs (Hexham, 16 March) and Island Brave (Lingfield, 17 March).

Brian O’Conner of The Irish Times remains well ahead in the overall 2017 tips table, despite, or perhaps because, he only supplies tips for Irish meetings. At the end of March, his tally stood at an impressive 23.5 points. Recent O’Conner winners include 8/1 Anseanachai Cliste (Downpatrick, 28 March). He had also racked up a brace of 7/1 strikes at Thurles three days earlier, namely Supreme Steel and Open Eagle.

Now that the turf Flat season has finally arrived, I thought it useful to look back at last year’s leading napsters. Not surprisingly Racing Post Ratings, the overall 2016 nap champions, had the best record, posting a 24.2-point profit during the period when turf Flat action took place. Of course, not all these naps were for horses running on the Flat, but it’s safe to assume the majority where.

Glendale of The Scotsman was second with 21.1 points, Marlborough third on 18.5 points and Fortunatus of the Sheffield Star fourth with 16.5 points. Interestingly, of these four, only Ratings did not see their overall profit plummet when the figures for the rest of the year were added. In the cases of Glendale and Fortunatus, these falls were of 30.1 and 26.4 points respectively. Whilst this doesn’t mean that the same will happen this year, of course, it is clear evidence that certain tipsters favour particular codes and/or have preferred times of the year. Yet another reason to do your research before blindly following one tipster. Don’t forget, all the evidence is available here at Napchecker.

Date Published: 06/04/2017