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Wondering Which Tipsters to Follow this Winter?

With the temperature dropping and the days getting shorter, it’s time to turn our attention to the jumpers. All the big stables have started flexing their muscles in preparation for a slog that with culminate in Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown next spring.

With this in mind, I thought it would be a good exercise to cast our minds back over the recent past to see which newspaper tipsters we need to have on our side in the forthcoming tussles with the bookmaking fraternity.

To keep things simple, I’ve looked at the figures for all tipsters during a hypothetical core season – that is the period from the start of November to the end of the following March. (I realise this ignores the Aintree Festival and will inevitably include some all-weather selections, but it will offer an accurate indication of the form of tipsters during the winter months. Also, I have restricted the analysis to naps, but I encourage all followers of Napchecker to do their own research using the invaluable advance options button on our naps and tips table pages.)

Last winter’s core season was dominated by Gary Nutting of the Sunday Mirror, who ended up with a mouth-watering 55.7-point profit to SP. Kevin Richardson of the Oldham Evening Chronicle finished second with a 24.3-point profit and the Daily Mail’s Robin Goodfellow was third on 17.5 points. Spotlight (Racing Post), Simpson (Blackpool Gazette) and the Daily Telegraph’s Marlborough all finished with profits between of between six and 10 points.

The winter before last (2014/15) proved to be more of a challenge with only the Racing Post’s Postdata service posting a profit (7.0 points). The Belfast Newsletter’s Wise Owl came next with a tiny 0.3-point loss ahead of Marlborough, who put in another good performance, finishing just 5.9 points down.

West Tip of the Western Morning News headed 2013/14’s table with a commendable 19.6-point return with Derek Brown of the Coventry Telegraph second on 11.1 points. Robin Goodfellow, Wise Owl, Simpson and Marlborough again finished with figures in the black.

In 2012/13, Doug Moscrop of the Newcastle Journal celebrated his fiftieth year as a racing journalist with first place in the core season table. His 20.2-point yield put him well clear of the Sun’s Templegate, with West Tip, Gary Nutting, Kevin Richardson and Captain Keen of the Irish Independent also posting profitable returns.

Although no individual tipster finished top of the list on more than one occasion, there were a number who performed consistently well, winter after winter. Combining the results of the last four winter seasons, Robin Goodfellow finished sixth, with a loss of 28.40 points. Fifth, with a loss of 22.40 points was Kevin Richardson, while Gary Nutting’s overall loss – just 22.10 points – earned him fourth position.

Third, with an overall loss of 11.60 points was Simpson. The Blackpool Gazette’s tipster posted profits in two out of four core seasons and was just shy of a third winter of profit when finishing 3.4 points down back in 2012/13.

Generally, tipsters from the broadsheets have fared less well than their tabloid counterparts. However, there was one notable exception to this rule. The Daily Telegraph’s Marlborough finished second in the overall winter table with two profits and two small losses making an overall loss of just 5.10 points.

And the winner? Well, as a tipster named after a national hunt stalwart, you would expect West Tip to enjoy the winter game. The 1986 National hero’s namesake finished top of the overall table with a total loss of just 1.7 points. Remember, all these figures are calculated to SP. Most bookies offered best odds guarantees and other enticements during this time; this would almost certainly have meant that these figures are an underestimate of what could have been achieved with a little homework.

Just a word of caution, though. In the four seasons under review, no tipster who finished top one year managed to post a profit the next. In fact, no tipster during this time has managed two successive winters of profit. So, should we be looking outside last year’s top six, for the 2016/17 money magnets?

Finally, September’s naps table ended in a tight finish with 2.2 points separating the first four tipsters in the list. Thanks to 11/1 success of Brando in the Ayr Gold Cup, the Guardian prevailed, with an 8.2-point profit. Richardson was second (6.8 points) with Fortunatus of the Sheffield Star (6.6 points) and Marlborough (6.0 points) occupying the next two places.

Marlborough gained consolation by claiming the September tips table, finishing the month with an impressive 21.9-point yield. The Daily Mirror’s Newsboy took second place with a 4.1-point profit.

Date Published: 10/10/2016