When Michael Clarke drove Better Loosen Up to that thrilling victory in the Japan Cup last November, he not only put himself and the horse on the international racing map, but he thrust young trainer David Hayes into the limelight as well.

For Hayes, the big race triumph must have been totally satisfying. To collar the Cox Plate in Australia and the Japan Cup in Tokyo within a few months of becoming a fully-fledged trainer is a feat unlikely ever to be repeated.

The Japan Cup win added impetus to our own research into David Hayes-but we, of course, are looking at his feats from a different perspective-that of the punter. It's all very well for top trainers to win lots of races, but can a punter gain much from them? How do you ensure you back the winners, and not most of the losers?

Our team got together recently to discuss the best way of following the Hayes stable. We put ourselves in the position of a normal punter, with limited funds. Firstly, we discussed level stakes betting, but this was deemed inappropriate because the team felt that betting was going to be such that some big collects would be needed at various times from higher than normal stakes.

It eventually was decided that the tried-and-tested 6-Point Divisor Plan was the ideal way to bet. We have published this great staking approach many times before in P.P.M., so most readers will be conversant with it. In brief, though, you set out to achieve six betting points and a series is closed once they are obtained, and then a new series is begun.

For the David Hayes test, we decided on a $120 Target with the Divisor being, of course, six. To calculate your bets you merely divided the Target by the Divisor. After each loss, the amount of the losing bet is added to the Target.

For safety's sake, we decided that a fresh divisor of six would be introduced after each 10 losses. The divisor would then be 12 divided into whatever the Target happened to be. By doing this, we sought to cut back on the bets rising too steeply, because we were always bearing in mind that we wanted to show how any punter could operate the plan, within economic reason.

Although our test to date is a limited one (the full results are listed on page 5) the initial results were extremely optimistic. In fact, short of David Hayes' stable collapsing completely, it does seem that the patient punter, who has faith in the 6-Point Divisor Plan, can inevitably come out in front.

Only a horror run of losers from Hayes-totalling 50, 60 or more - could prove devastating, but even then a winner could pull it all back.

Because there are occasions when Hayes has more than one runner in a race, we decided for the purposes of our test that when this happened, the stake should be split. You will note in the results ‘box' that there were several occasions when bets on two horses in the same race were called for.

Only once did we have to introduce a new divisor. This was after 10 losers in a row (including two in the same race on three occasions). TAB dividends from Queensland were used to work out the returns on each winning bet. Results on other State TABs will obviously vary, so the profit might be more or less in N.S.W., S.A., etc.

We began the test on November 7, which is after Hayes rattled up six winners in the one day at Flemington. We thought it would be cheating just a bit to take the test back to that meeting. Our first bet on November 7 was a winner, and the first series was completed after only four sets of bets, with a profit of $187, the clincher being a $200 return on Power Of Destiny (from a $13 bet).

The second series saw a bit of rot set in. After seven losing bets, involving 10 individual losers, we introduced a safety brake divisor of six, taking the Divisor to 12, with the Target at that stage being $352.

We then experienced three losing bets, until finally Wrap Around got up, giving a return of $40. This wasn't enough to drop the Divisor from 12, so we continued until Rasheek gave us a $183 return from a $50 bet. This reduced the Divisor to 9. At the November 17 meeting, we struck a big winner in Canonise and for our $57 bet we received back $758. This ended the second series with a profit of $307.

The next series of bets began and after a total outlay of $359, we received back $540 for a $68 win bet on Niran at Sandown on November 24. This gave the series a profit of $181.60. The fourth series then began, with two losing bets totalling $43.

The final tally was a stake of $1,161 for a return of $1,793.60-a terrific profit of $632.60, or almost 55% on turnover. We'll be reporting further on the Hayes' stable in next month's P.P.M., with some results from Adelaide, too.


By Richard Hartley Jnr