Andrew Morris is just two days away from winning the annual Horse Racing Naps Table run by the Racing Post and bookmaker Coral - surging more than £40 ahead of his rivals.
A string of big price winners this spring has left the 35-year-old from Sedgley sprinting clear from the pack with the finish line in sight.
The tipster, a former Express & Star journalist, said he was thrilled to be putting the region on the map in a competition that features racing experts from across the UK and Ireland.
He was already top in March when backing 33/1 Coral Cup scorer Heaven Help Us and that win has been supplemented this past week with Aquila Sky (9/1) trained by Shropshire’s Sam Allwood; Final Fantasy (4/1) at Kempton and then Scottish Grand National winner Mighty Thunder (8/1) giving him a lead with just days left.
He said: “It would be an absolute dream come true to be crowned the Racing Post Naps champion and I cannot believe how the season has worked out.
"You are up against the cream of the crop in racing circles and to think I am on the verge of hopefully beating them is the stuff of dreams.
"I was having a good season already, but the big winner at Cheltenham was when I started believing that becoming champion was possible – and luckily despite having a 13-day drought at the start of April I have managed to bounce back to form at the right time. If I can hang on now until Thursday night there will be some party.”
Previous winners have included Sam Turner, who is known as Robin Goodfellow to readers of the Daily Mail; Steve Jones as Templegate of The Sun and the Racing Post’s own Paul Kealy.
Each day every entrant is given a mythical £1 to place on a horse of their choice – their nap – and then any winnings are added to a running tally.
Andrew is currently standing top of the tree with a profit of £75, up to £150 ahead of some rivals.
So what is the secret to finding winners?
“Be true to yourself and trust your own eyes,” he said.
“Watch as much racing as you can and follow the form. I love two types of horses – those who have recently won and are game improvers and those who have tumbled down the weights to a previously winnable mark.
"But more than anything, if you see something in a horse that you like, believe in it – especially those from smaller yards who are underrated by the bookies.”