Sam Turner has made himself a household name over the years, without many people even realising. He of course is the man behind Robin Goodfellow of the Daily Mail, where he has worked for over seven years. Article by Josh Bradley
He is the resident tipster who has found great success since taking up the role, which has led to more work across a variety of platforms including becoming a regular on Racing UK and William Hill Radio. However his alias is solely for the Daily Mail, and he can’t quite recall how the name came about.
“The alias either comes from a character in Midsummer Night’s Dream or a horse of the same name (more likely). I’m not sure which came first.”
Wherever it has come from, it has served him well so far, in a career that has blossomed from a very early stage. He recalls his earliest memories of getting into racing, which has led to a successful journalism and tipster career, which many will aspire to match.
“I first got into racing at 16 when a friend at school suggested we should go to the local bookies rather than a French lesson. Up to that point my life revolved around cricket and Wolverhampton Wanderers!”
Since taking an interest in the sport, he has always had a soft spot for the Grand National and is looking forward to the Aintree feature, which is always extremely competitive. The race itself is always extremely hard to call with 40 runners lining up at the start at Aintree, before embarking on a marathon trek over thirty obstacles, making it the most unique race in the country.
It has the biggest worldwide audience of any race, reaching over an estimated 600 million people across 140 countries. It is beamed into households up and down the country where families gather together to watch the race, which for many, will be the first they have ever seen.
Many racing enthusiasts, and even casual punters can remember their first Grand National, and Sam is no different, recalling the 1991 spectacular as his first recollection.
“My earliest recollection of the National was Mr Frisk and I remember having a tiny bet on Rhyme And Reason which would have been the first winner of the race I backed. I had to wait till Party Politics in ‘92 for the next one!
“I think the general public have probably been bought up with their relatives having a bet on the race and they simply follow tradition. It’s the race that stops a nation and pretty much a fair proportion of the world given the incredible audience figures.”
That is certainly the case for many, and this year’s renewal looks set to be no different, with the marketing campaign beginning to get into full flow. Excitement is building and tickets are selling quickly as the Crabbie’s Grand National exceeds £1m prize money for the first time in its illustrious history.
With less than a week until the meeting starts, many bookmakers are now offering non-runner-no-bet scenarios, meaning any horses that are backed now, and don’t run (72 still entered, with only 40 being allowed to race), you will get your money back. This means the punters can start to get stuck into the prices on offer, with the safety of knowing unlike with most ante-post bets, you will not be missing out on the day if your horse doesn’t run.
am, like many punters, is yet to select his pick for the race, as so much can change up until the start of the race. With English weather as unpredictable as ever, and ground conditions likely to change, many often wait until the ground is confirmed on the day of the race.
“I’m afraid I haven’t got a strong view on this year’s race as yet. A lot can happen in a week in racing and there is no way you would have fancied Earth Summit back in the 90s until a deluge of rain during the week of the race.
“I think the race is changing given the alterations to the track and the fact the handicapper is trying to encourage the better horses to run. With that in mind I quite like Long Run as he has been trained for this race specifically unlike one or two who had hard races in the Gold Cup. His rider has an excellent record over the fences and he won’t mind what the ground is. He would be my tentative choice at this stage.”
Sam will be confirming his selection for the big race closer to the time, and this will be eagerly anticipated by many, who will be ensuring they follow Robin Goodfellow’s selections for the entire Aintree meeting, as his success rate is often good on Merseyside.