Our old pal Statsman has contributed a host of excellent system ideas to P.P.M. since the magazine was founded back in April, 1985. Like all his systems, they stand the test of time.

It wasn't difficult when combing through the back issues of the magazine to find a crackerjack method which Statsman had written. The one that really caught my eye was the Third Time Lucky system he introduced in the August, 1988 issue.

If you are looking for value bets - and we all are! - then this system certainly provides them. In tests done at the ,time, and in random ones since then, you can expect at least one winner a day with about five bets per meeting. The winners arrive at long odds, I can assure you.

All you need to operate this method is a reliable daily newspaper which contains a tipsters' poll. You check the poll but you only consider those horses that, overall, are listed as the THIRD pick of all the tipsters combined.

That is. the horse with the third highest number of points, as decided on the usual 3, 2, 1 basis. But you back these third selections only if they are between 4/1 and 16/1 in the betting (pre-post, that is). By doing this you are eliminating potential bad-value bets plus those likely to possess little chance despite their appeal to the tipsters.

The odds range between 4s and 16s gives you a wide area to rake in well fancied runners and longshots. The problem we encounter, as Statsman explained in his original article, is that you have to be selective, otherwise you can end up with too many bets to make the idea profitable.

Statsman's suggestion is that you back only those horses who figure as any tipster's FIRST selection at least once. So all you do is check out your third selection on the poll to see if any tipster has it as a first selection. If so, it's a bet; if not, then axe it.

This is a safety measure. You may miss a winner or two, according to Statsman, but you'll eliminate a lot of losers as well, certainly enough to make up for lost winners.

When Statsman revealed the method in 1988, he published a test period covering five Sydney meetings. These showed a stake of 26 units for a win, for a return of 53 units, just over 100 per cent on outlay. Random testing since has shown that this method continues to deliver profits on Sydney meetings (polls used, Wednesdays and Saturdays, in Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian).

To complete this series on the best systems and staking methods from past issues of P.P.M. I am going to republish the multiple staking method expounded in the September, 1988 issue.

If you're the sort of punter who likes to have, say, four bets at a meeting, in different races, you should think seriously about how you bet each horse. You should bet according to price, and 1 price' can be your own prices set on each horse, or the pre-post price, or the price available five minutes before race starting time.

The table of bets and prices is as follows (figure in brackets is the bet if you want to halve the recommended bet):


Evens 25 (13) 9/2 9 (5)
6/4 20 (10) 5/1 9 (5)
2/1 18 (9) 6/1 8 (4)
5/2 14 (7) 7/1 7 (4)
3/1 12 (6) 8/1 7 (4)
7/2 10 (5) 10/1 5 (3)
4/1 10 (5) 12/1 5 (3)
Multiple bets like these have to be carefully placed. Sometimes short Prices will trim your expected profit. The idea is to end up ahead if just one of the four bets wins.

Let's say you were backing horses at 6/4, 5/1, 6/1 and 8/1. This requires bets of the following amounts:

6/4 20 units
5/1 9 units
6/1 8 units
8/1 7 units
Total Bets 44 units

A win by the 6/4 chance would return you 50 units, for an overall profit of 6 units. If the 6/4 chance and the 5/1 chance won the total return would be 104 units, for a profit of 60 units. Should you get those two winners plus the 6/1 winner, the total return would be 160 units, a profit of 116 units. If the complete foursome won, you would be looking at a total return of 223 units, and a profit of 179 units, or 406 percent.

As you can see this is an ideal way to get a firm grip on your raceday money management. The price of each runner dictates its bet. All the better if you can obtain overlays on your own prices. Let's say you backed a horse you assessed at 6/4 for the required 20 units, and it won at 3/1. You are now looking at an 80 units return - and a huge profit from just one winner in the four.

You can operate this method, or course, with two, three, four or even five or six horses, depending on their prices.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of 'back issues' systems from P.P.M. We will be running another series a little later on.

By Martin Dowling