By ANTON RIPPON
Two regional dailies led a 50-strong field that included national newspaper tipsters going into the last day of the 2018 Racing Post Flat season naps competition.
Melissa Jones (pictured above), horse racing correspondent of the Gloucestershire Echo, and “Fortunatus” of the Sheffield Star were almost neck-and-neck with Jones holding a small lead after her final selection finished second.
The action then turned to an evening meeting at Chelmsford, where Rory Delargy from The Irish Field looked like taking the prize before his selection was overtaken near the line.
Thirty minutes later “Fortunatus” saw their 12/1 choice win the Irish Lotto At Totesport.com Handicap, giving the tipster a £30.67 profit on a mythical £1 stake, and the Racing Post’s prize of £4,000.
Jones, who took home the £1,500 runner-up prize with a profit of £27.28, said: “Congratulations to the winner. It takes some nerve to put up such a big-priced selection under pressure and they pulled it off.
“I’m pleased to finish in the top three in this competition for the third time, a first position of note for the Flat season.
“I’m grateful for the support I’ve had throughout and look forward to trying to go one better during the National Hunt campaign.”
In 2013/14 was a close runner-up when working for the South Wales Argus. “Farringdon” of the Morning Star took the £500 third prize with a profit of £25.13.
Earlier this year Jim Delahunt of the Scottish Sun won the Racing Post Naps competition for the jumps season and the £4,000 prize that went with it, after he was also forced to wait until the last race of the last day when his final selection was a non-runner.
Charlie Croasdale, of North Wales daily The Leader claimed last year’s top prize for the Flat season.