Internet business consultant Richard Smith saw off five fellow finalists to claim the title of Tipstar 2014 and earn the chance to become a pundit on Racing UK (Sky 432/Virgin 536) for the day.
Smith, 48, stuck his neck out live on Racing UK last night in tipping 16-1 chance Gleaming Girl, whose jockey, Sophie Killoran, had never ridden a winner before.
Despite gentle urgings from presenter Oli Bell to consider another option in the four-runner field, Smith stuck to his guns and watched his tip prevail by a neck in the competition, designed to discover the next top tipster and peerless pundit.
“I’m absolutely gobsmacked,” said Smith. “I thought I was in with a shout after tipping a 16-1 shot, but the presentations of my fellow finalists were so high that it was never going to be a forgone conclusion.
“It was an experience I’ll never forget. A massive thank you to Racing UK and The Sun for staging the competition. One of the real highlights was how well we all got on. Despite being rivals, we were genuinely cheering each other on, and we’re meeting up again at Sandown on December 6.”
Over the last two months, Racing UK, in conjunction with The Sun, invited viewers, who could blend top tipping and peerless punditry, to send in preview video clips of a pre-selected race.A winner was selected each week for the six-week period and each of them were asked to preview and review six races at Kempton Park on Thursday.
The final was judged by Racing UK pundit Dave Nevison and the nation’s leading tipster, The Sun’s Templegate, Steve Jones. The duo factored in presentation skills, race preview, the rationale behind the tip, the tip itself, and the race analysis.Smith will now appear as a pundit live from Sandown on Racing UK on December 6, and also write his own tipping column in The Favourite – The Sun’s winning Saturday racing pull-out on the same day. In addition, the champion Tipstar wins £1000 cash prize and a free one-year Racing UK subscription (worth £270).
Judge Jones added: “There is always a danger with these types of competitions that one or two finalists might bomb, but the standard was exceptional across the board. Each one put across coherent cases for their horses in an eloquent manner – and it made for great TV. There was some real talent on display and well done to Richard for prevailing by a nose.”EndsFor more information please contact: Seb Vance: 020 7592 0465 / 07810043040 and firstname.lastname@example.org