Loon The Champ
TNP's veteran tipster wins his third straight top tipster title
To top the table once is admirable. The second time, well, the feeling is doubly good.
Tan Thean Loon has done it three times. We think he deserves the cheers.
So, raise your glass to The New Paper's veteran tipster for topping the 2016 tipsters' chart.
Penang-born Tan, 59, beat another TNP tipster, Australian Larry Foley, by six winners in a "contest" involving 18 personalities from the media.
Tan, who has been covering racing for 40 years, picked 245 winners from the 909 races held at Kranji in 2016 for a 26.9 per cent strike rate.
TNP's two other tipsters - Brian Miller and Mr X - "deadheated" for seventh spot with 215 winners apiece.
"Winning for the third year in a row is really a career highlight," said Tan.
"My biggest regret was not going through the card in September - which is something no one has achieved."
Tan came tantalisingly close on Sept 30 when he picked eight winners from the nine-race card. The only blemish being the horse Barnburgh Lad who finished second - beaten by a reserve who got in. Otherwise, it would have been a perfect score and a place in the record books.
That day, his colleague, Miller, didn't do too badly either. He picked seven from nine.
On the subject of winners, TNP was the talk of the town on Aug 7 when Mr X picked eight from a card of 11.
TNP has now won five top tipster titles in the last six years.
"Winning for the third year in a row is really a career highlight. My biggest regret was not going through the card in September— which is something no one has achieved." Tan Thean Loon
Back to the just-concluded season, Tan was magnanimous in victory and was quick to praise Fremantle-based Foley for that "good fight down the final stretch".
He said: "I was 17 ahead of Larry in October and I thought I was home and hosed. But Larry came charging home and I was lucky to hang on and win."
Tan, who won with 249 winners last year (26.8 per cent strike rate) and with 295 winners in 2014 (29.7 per cent), is looking forward to new challenges in the 2017 season which begins on Jan 1.