I’d like to address a couple of key factors in this article. One relates to staking, the other to selecting and staking, both vitally important issues for any punter!

Leafing through my files the other night I came across an interesting angle which first surfaced back in the 1970s. I thought it worth re-visiting. It’s a plan for collecting in two out of every three races.

The basis of the approach is very simple: When two horses go off at 3/1 or less in the same race then one of them will win it 75 per cent of the time.

It’s one of those pieces of racing ‘logic’ that seems to make good sense right from the first time you see it. Well, it did for me, anyway.

The basic betting thrust behind this plan is simply to play for a set profit every race. Our average price is assessed as 2/1 and we divide the amount we want to collect by two. Our ‘due’ represents prior losses plus the desired profit in the coming race.

According to the article that introduced this plan, you can expect to collect in about two of every three races on which you bet. Since you are backing two horses per race, the collections come from one wager in three.

Summing up, then: We strive to win one point on every horse we back in every race, and the only races on which we operate are those in which there are two runners quoted at 3/1 or less.

That is: Both the first and second favourites must be at 3/1 or under, and we always assume that the price will be 2/1. Sometimes it will be more, sometimes less, but it will average out in the long run.

  1. You bet only on those races in which the first and second favourites are 3/1 or less.
  2. You have two columns each aimed at winning so much per race, plus previous losses.
  3. You treat these columns as separate transactions, and if one column is having a bad run you allow the winning column to carry a portion of the losses from the losing column.

If you want to bet a different way, and I understand that many punters don’t like to bet using target columns as previously outlined, there is a simple formula for backing two horses a race, each to win the same amount, and this can be applied to this selection method.

Let’s say the two horses are at 2/1 and 5/2. We will call them Horses A and B.

To discover the amount to be staked on both horses, you simply add the odds and reverse them. For instance: A is 2/1 (2 added to 1 is 3 and thus 3 points are invested on Horse B). Horse B is 5/2 (2.5 added to 1 is 3.5 and so you bet 3.5 on Horse A).

This calls for a total bet of 6.5 units. A win by either horse will return 10.5, a profit of 4 points on the transaction.
Only a reasonable bank is required because by concentrating on first and second favourites when both are at 3/1 or less it is most unlikely you will experience a long run of outs.

How many races can you expect to bet on? There’s no exact answer. Sometimes you might get three or four races on a card which qualify, other times there might only be one, or even none.

Now, let’s look at the Reserve Fund staking plan. I think this will interest any rank and file punters who are keen to protect their money. The information comes from the Equestrian Book of Staking Plans, which is available free via the Internet. Just go to our terrific PPM website (www.practicalpunting.com.au) and you will be able to download the entire book.

Many punters seek a staking plan with the type of bet to be made (straight out, each way or place only) left to the race-by-race judgement of the investor.

Most systems call for one means of staking but “The Reserve Fund Wagering Plan” can be employed in all three ways according to the best value. It can also be used for multiple betting providing you do not invest more than the number of units laid down by the rules.

This plan was originally designed for play on solid selections and, providing you bet only when you feel the chance of a collect is better than the possibility of loss, it can run into good money.

When you come to a bettable race, decide the type of bet likely to produce the safest investment. You may have to invest 10 units. This can be staked straight out, each way, place tote or, if you consider there are, say, three chances, you can save on two of the runners and invest the balance of the 10 units on your prime fancy.

The Reserve Fund Plan is a combination of flat stake betting and slow progression, and with a high percentage of winners it can make capital grow fast and with safety. It is based on the premise that when the operator is making a profit he should set aside part of it after each winning bet, for two reasons:

  1. To provide a fund for use in the event a losing streak wipes out the original starting capital, and
  2. To permit the punter to increase the size of his bets from his profits after a series of successful investments.

You begin play with a starting capital of 100 units. This amount is entered on the Play Chart in the first column, under “Capital on Hand”. The starting bet is 10 units on the first horse played. When the result is known, further entries are made.

If the first bet is on a winner, 20 per cent of the profit is put into the Reserve Fund, and the balance of the profit is added to the “Capital on Hand”. If the first bet is a loser, naturally nothing is added to the Reserve Fund or the Capital on Hand, and 10 units must be deducted from the Capital on Hand. The operator continues to be 10 units on each selection, adding 20 per cent of the profit on each winning wager to the Reserve Fund, the balance to Capital on Hand, until the Reserve Fund total reaches 20 units. At this point the amount in the Reserve Fund is added to Capital on Hand and the amount of the wager is increased from 10 to 12 points.

Play continues as before, the operator always adding 20 per cent of the profit on each winning wager to the Reserve Fund, the balance to Capital on Hand, until the Reserve Fund has again reached 20 (original units), at which point it is again transferred to Capital on Hand and the wager is increased another two, from 12 to 14 points, and this procedure is kept up, the betting point always being increased by two every time the balance in the Reserve Fund reaches 20.

That is all there is to the betting plan. It provides a sound basis of flat stake investment with bets increasing according to capital growth. Do not use it if you are just going to have a bet for the sake of making one. This is a plan for the person who gives thought to selecting and strives to make betting a business more than a gamble. It is left to the individual as to when he wants to stop increasing, withdraw his profits and start again on the same or an increased bank.

By Richard Hartley Jnr