Tipster leads from the front to win for Blackpool

A horse racing tipster on the Blackpool Gazette beat off local and national competitors at the final furlong to be crowned Britain's best racing pundit in an annual competition.

Stephen Simpson (left) won the £4,000 prize when he came first in a league table of the best racing pundits organised by bookmakers Coral and the Racing Post.

Tipsters from across the country were asked to place an imaginary £1 stake on the horse of their choice each day for five months, which had to be printed in their paper the same day.

Simpson won with a profit of £24.84, but less than £2 separated him from his closest rival, Nick Watts of Racing and Football Outlook, who came second with £23.76.

Simpson, who has been at the Gazette for 20 years, admitted he had a "sleepless night" before the end of the competition, which he had led for six weeks.

He said: "It was quite nerveracking, because there was only a few quid between us, and in the last few days none of us managed to pick a winner."

The horse that won for Simpson, Spot the Subbie, was originally tipped at 5-1 but ended up running at 18-1.

He said: "When that happened, I thought ‘it must be my year'."

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