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Wright times it to perfection

There was a dramatic conclusion to the February Napchecker naps challenge, with Rob Wright of the Times stealing the honours from under the nose of pacesetter Robin Goodfellow with a 5/1 last day success. Garry Owen, the 2022 champion, took third place with Racing Post Ratings, making it two profitable months in a row, claiming fourth spot.

For much of February, Robin Goodfellow was well ahead of the pack. But a spell of four wins from seven naps in the last week proved the decisive factor in Rob Wright’s success. He finished the month with an 11.6-point harvest, while Robin Goodfellow’s final tally was 6.8 points.

Rob Wright had started the month brightly with six winning naps from 13, but a mid-month lapse appeared to put him out of contention. A 2/1 winner on 24 February broke a run of six losing selections, and began a sequence which continued with 7/2 Wyvern (Lingfield, 24 February), 4/1 Lightonthewing (Fontwell, 26 February) and ended with the 28 February victory of Regal Empire, who scored at odds of 5/1 at Southwell.

Five of Robin Goodfellow’s first nine naps were winners including Green Book (6/1, Sandown Park, 4 February) and Aucunrisque (9/1, Newbury, 11 February). At the close of trade on 12 February, the Mail’s pundit held a massive lead of more than 14-points. Then the fall. Only two further naps were successful in a precipitous 16-day slump. However, thanks to the accrued gold from the earlier phase, the month still ended with Robin Goodfellow 6.8 points to the good.

Apart from the success of Bernadine at Kempton (9/2, 8 February), there was little for Garry Owen to celebrate, until Brian Hughes guided 11/1 Coral Blue to a comfortable victor at Ayr on the penultimate day of the month. Thanks to this, Garry Owen ended the month with an unexpected profit of 2.5 points.

Racing Post’s Ratings is the only tipster to post two profitable months in 2023, following January’s 1.4-point return with a 0.1-point yield in February (33%). The month started and ended with two sequences of three wins from four, but, in between, only three out of 19 naps prevailed. Best of the nine winners was Cabrakan, who triumphed at Hereford at odds of 9/2 on 15 February.

In contrast to Ratings one winner in three ratio, Postdata’s strike-rate was a lowly 15%, although, thanks to a couple of value wins, the loss was a fractional 0.1-point. Prince Dundee was successful at 10/1 at Ayr (14 February), while Coco Beach took the Grand National Trial at Punchestown five days later at odds of 7/1.

Those wins ensured that Postdata remains well ahead in the overall 2023 naps table with an 11.6-point profit. Rob Wright is up to second (3.4 points), with Marlborough (2.8 points), Ratings (1.5 points) and Robin Goodfellow (0.9 points) in close attendance.

Brian O’Conner of the Irish Times topped the all-tips list in February with a profit of 15.5 points (35% strike-rate) earned from domestic racing only (63 tips). UK-based Scout, who posted ten-times as many selections, finished February 12.1 point up (28%). Captain John, Marlborough, Ratings and Newsboy all enjoyed big pay-days, but lacked the consistency of O’Conner and Scout.

Date Published: 02/03/2023