After glorious years in 2020 and 2021 in which we made +290 pts profit and were on the way to quadrupling the betting bank, it was fair to say all NMP members went into 2022 with lofty expectations, matching my own.
In truth, however, 2022 was the year in which the results turned from the sublime to the ridiculous, and we had relentless bad luck - if there was an award for 'unluckiest punter of 2022' then NMP would certainly have been among the nominations.
You could say we were due a bad year after making so much profit in 2020 and 2021 but that is scant consolation to anyone who joined the service towards the end of 2021.
I shared some figures with my members towards the end of the year to show how so many selections were running well and finishing in the frame without winning, but that a freak number of horses finishing second over the course of the year ultimately killed us and meant we made a notable loss of -43.65 pts (to best prices) from 998.70 pts staked (-4% ROI) for the first time since I began running the service in 2010 over a decade (and around 12,000 bets) ago.
The figures above show the end of season totals from the singles bets for the three most recent NMP seasons.
In 2020 we backed 150 winners and 127 seconds, so roughly a ratio of 6 winners for every 5 seconds. In 2021 we had 160 winners and 110 seconds, with a ratio close to 3 winners for every 2 seconds.
In 2022, however, we had a ridiculously high number of horses finishing second and backed more seconds than winners - that just isn't the norm for this service, its modus operandi and the type of selections that are typically advised as bets.
Not every horse finishing second was an unlucky loser, and some were deserving of their placing, but sometimes we are talking about a matter of inches making the difference between losing a meaty stake and winning big on a bet.
Nevertheless, the singles only broke even over the course of the year in 2022 (to best prices).
In terms of the multiples, they were the main contributor to us making a loss in 2022 as we just didn't get any luck with lining up the big ones (some of the most notable near misses are covered further down) this year. We made +50 pts profit off multiples in 2020 and +66 pts off them in 2021, so we once again carried on with them in 2022, but they made a -45 pt loss (to best prices) from 300 pts staked in 2022 and were mostly disappointing this year.
That last figure doesn't make particularly good reading but, if we are being brutally honest, we should have broken the 100 pt profit barrier really given the quality of the performances from some of the losing second legs in big doubles. If we had made +200 pts profit off the multiples this year it wouldn't have been unjust.
The Cheltenham Festival is usually our most profitable week of the year but we backed 11 seconds across the four days this year and didn't get the rub of the green with our big ante post selections or multiples.
We had Ginto for 50 pts in the Albert Bartlett but he sadly broke down and suffered a fatal injury during the race (when going supremely well). We also had Langer Dan for over 50 pts (from multiples) that same day after State Man and A Plus Tard had won earlier on the card (if he and Ginto had both justified favouritism that day we'd have won +270 pts) but he was brought down by a rival horse early on in the Martin Pipe so we didn't get a fair crack at seeing if he could exploit his mark. Of course, he came out and won at Aintree next time out when he got a clear round!
We had Dual Identity onside in the Cambridgeshire for +94 pts but sadly the field split unevenly and the pace horse we hoped he'd track decided to switch to the stands' side and leave us without a pace angle to track. While Dual Identity beat everything easily on the far side of the field, he finished 3rd of 28 in the end.
One of the cruellest defeats we suffered was earlier in the summer at the July meeting at Newmarket when Al Qareem was robbed of victory in the Bahrain Trophy. He was impeded by the winner, Deauville Legend, approaching the final furlong and had to be switched after being sandwiched up against the rail and losing momentum, before regaining himself, keeping on strongly and only losing by only a head. There wasn't even a stewards inquiry, which was sickening for us when we had him lined up in a double with a 16/1 sprint winner from the same (Karl Burke) stable earlier on the card - Lethal Levi - he was worth 45 pts profit to us.
At the end of the season we backed four Gavin Cromwell runners in Ireland across the flat and jumps cards one day. The first three all won so multiples meant Sunsez Shiraz was worth over 90 pts to us in a Listed race at Naas. He got no luck in running and had to be switched, twice, before suffering a half-length defeat by Toy.
I wouldn't want to include Jumby, Regional, Fantasy Master, Khanjar, Tabdeed and Cleveland in the list of unlucky losers. While all were worth huge sums in multiples (some were worth over +100 pts), they were not unlucky losers.
However, River Nymph got no run in a handicap on the straight track at Ascot when we needed him for a nice payday and the likes of My Mate Mozzie/Jon Riggens at Naas on the final day of the Flat season in Ireland should both have won (apprentice jockey got giddy on the former and the latter got a troubled run in a sprint handicap) and one of the most frustrating multiple losers of the year was probably Chambard back at Ludlow in February. He was given a dire ride by his conditional rider, who misjudged the pace and mounted her challenge far too late. That defeat busted our Venetia Williams trixie that day (worth over 20 pts). He then went on to win on his next three starts, including in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham.
We did see an improvement in results at the back end of the year, winning the November handicap at Doncaster with Metier, the Cesarewitch at Newmarket with Run For Oscar, and having a good Breeders' Cup, but by then it was too late for those winners to turn around a poor year.
All in all, 2022 was just a freak year and to back 141 seconds and miss out on so many big multiples in one year too..........incredible misfortune really, but that’s horse racing for you.
I can't wait for Big Ben to chime at midnight on New Year's Eve and draw a line under what was a thoroughly miserable year.
Roll on the 2023 Flat season and hopefully a return to normality!.........