It's been said that it's easy to win \$100 a day at racing. All you do is find a way to win \$1 and then multiply your bet so that you win \$100 instead! Sounds delightfully easy, doesn't it? The reality is different, but certainly the idea itself is sound enough.

Is it, then, really possible for a punter to win \$100 a day? Much depends on the punter's finances. A bettor with \$100 to invest each day might well be able to select a surefire even money winner and have \$100 on it to secure a \$200 return.

A punter without this ability to invest \$100, but with only, say, \$10 to risk faces a far more formidable task because he has to multiply his stake 10 times to achieve a \$100 profit. Really tough! So this punter has to create ways of making his small amount of money go a long way.

For instance, the \$10 punter's only real chance of making \$100 profit a day would be to shoot for a double on a couple of horses at pretty good prices. For example, he will have to choose two horses at around 9/4 each to secure close to \$100 profit on a winning double.

That is: \$10 at 9/4 = \$32.50 x 2.25 \$73.10 + \$32.50 = \$105.50 (rounded). This is, then, a profit of \$95.50 for your \$10 outlay. The problem, naturally, is how to find enough of these 9/4 x 9/4 doubles to keep ahead of the game.

How many would you need to strike to make a decent profit? Let's say you bet 6 days a week (!). Your stake for the week is \$60 (at \$10 a day). If you could strike one winning double a week which returned you \$110, a profit of \$100, you would be \$50 ahead for the week.

CONNOLLY'S GOLDEN RULES
Punters chasing good profit margins would be well advised to take note of the late pro punter Eric Connolly's rules for sound betting.

• Think of yourself as a shopper. Don't be forced to buy. Inspect the goods; that is, the prices on offer. Find something you really want!
• Never bet race-to-race on every event on the program. The long-term task of making a profit becomes too difficult.
• To play safe, and to play the bookies at their own game, go for a win on one or two runners and save on the other chances. Make a 'book' against the bookmakers.

Betting in \$100 doubles, that would put you \$500 ahead - just about on that difficult \$100 a day target. But, again, the average punter simply cannot find \$100 a day to bet, so this approach would be limited to those punters with access to the necessary funds.

If you have \$20 a day to invest, you need to find a 5/1 winner to win \$100 a day. This can be an enormously difficult task, too. But this punter, if betting doubles, faces an easier task than the bloke with just a tenner to spend.

He needs only a 5/1 double to make the desired profit. In this instance, then, he has to find a double comprising horses paying around 6/4 each to make \$100 profit. Example: You bet \$20 on a 6/4 (\$2.50 TAB div) chance. It wins, so you then place that \$50 return on the second horse at 6/4 (\$2.50 TAB div). This returns you \$125 - a profit on your original \$20 of \$105, a little above your required target.

Surely, you might say, this is within the bounds of possibility? It is, as long as you are prepared to bet carefully. And, of course, you do not need to bet every day. If you can't find two horses worth linking in a double you can hold the bet over to the next day then invest \$40 on your chosen double.

Another approach is to set yourself a Target Figure and then adjust your bets according to how much the Target Figure has reached. Obviously, you would set out with a \$100 Target Figure and bet according to the price of your selection in order to achieve the TF.

That is, say, a 3/1 horse would be staked for \$33. If it won, all well and good, you would have a \$100 TF for the next day. But if it loses, you add the lost \$33 to the \$100 for a second day TF of \$133 and, again, bet accordingly. If your selection on the second day was 3/1, you would bet \$44 ( a win at 3/1 would return you the desired \$133 TF).

Again, this is a method that requires * fair amount of cash if you are to seek * \$100 TF. Smaller-bet punters will have to think again, though there's no reason why they could not adopt a Target Figure approach using smaller stakes, and seek a proportion of \$100 a day (say \$25).

Another approach is to give yourself a weekly betting bank, say \$100, and then bet if and when you feel confident, using any portion of the entire stake. This means that although, theoretically, you have only some \$16.50 a day to bet (\$100 for 6 days), you can bump up your stake by not betting every day. You will still aim, though, to emerge with a \$100 a day profit overall - an enormously difficult task, granted.

I receive many letters each month asking me about the possibilities of place betting, and where this \$100 a day profit approach is concerned I suppose all-up place betting offers some chance to the small-bet punter.

Let's look firstly at betting a three horse place all-up. What dividends would you need? Well, let's suppose you have \$20 to spend. The best you can hope for, I guess, is an average return of around \$1.60 if you are betting on horses well up in the market.

Three of these at \$20 all-up would return you \$82, a profit of \$62. Not so bad. Assuming you have \$100 for 6 days' betting, it might be worth considering betting only twice a week at \$50 per all-up place treble. If you could hit both times, you would get a return of \$409, for a profit of \$309. Not your desired \$100 a day, but half of it, anyway.

If you restricted yourself to one bet a week, placing the full \$100 on the all up place treble, you could, at \$1.60 each placegetter, get a return of \$409, for a profit of \$309, this time the profit being achieved with only three placegetters and not six!

Of course, it could well be that your all-up place bet might contain horses paying better than \$1.60. Suppose you had two at \$1.60 and a third at \$2.10: your \$100 all-up bet would then return you \$537, for a profit on the week of \$437, or around \$73 per day.

A slight improvement in the lower paying horses to, say, \$1.80 would give you a return with a \$2.10 placegetter a total of \$680, or \$580 profit - almost your target of \$100 a day over 6 days. And all with one bet!

But finding secure placegetters is not so easy as it may seem. You might be able to achieve it only once in three or four bets. Assuming, say, \$1.70 each placegetter, a \$100 all-up would return you \$491. But suppose you only succeeded once in every four bets?

Over a year you would have 52 bets at \$100, or \$5,200. You would succeed 13 times and get back \$491 each time; thus a total return of \$6,383, for an overall annual profit of \$1183, or just \$22.75 a week, or \$3.80 a day! Well below your anticipated \$100 a day, but a profit nonetheless, even with just one successful all-up from every four bets.

To make \$100 a day profit (312 betting days over a year) your actual target figure for 12 months would be \$31,200. Thus, each of your anticipated 13 winning all-ups for the place would have to return you a profit of \$2,400! Fanciful stuff, indeed.

Of course, you might be a clever selector and might well be able to strike with a winning three-horse place all-up once in every two hits. This would certainly help, but it still wouldn't provide you with the required profit figure.

You could then consider a mixture of win and place all-ups. Why not two horses for the place and one for the win? Could you achieve a good strike rate using this method?

Let's say you could hit 20 of these all-up bets in 52 weeks, with average prices of \$1.70 the place (2) and \$3.25 the win (9/4). How would you fare? Well, each winning \$100 all-up would return you around \$940. Over a year you would strike 20, which would give you a total return of \$18,800 on an outlay of \$5,200 - a profit, then, of \$13,600.

Divided by 312 betting days, this would mean a daily profit of \$43.50, well below the target of \$100 a day, but a pretty convincing financial statistic! If you could win \$13,600 a year on one bet a week at \$100 you'd be doing a very good job. And it's not impossible by any means.

Naturally, you'd need a slice of luck. But that could well come your way. What if one day your bets returned significantly higher figures than you'd planned for? What if your two placegetters were to strike \$2.00 and your winner came in at 5/1 (\$6.00 TAB)?

The \$100 all-up would then return you \$2,400. What if you could achieve this improvement a couple of times? Now your annual balance would look even sharper. You'd be looking at 18 winning all-ups at \$940 (\$16,920) and two at \$2,400 (\$4,800) a grand total return of \$21,720, or a profit of almost \$70 a day. Not bad at all.

All these ideas are put before you as 'food for thought'. You may agree with them, you may hotly disagree. The statistically-minded may put forward strong arguments to suggest that such strike rates cannot be achieved.

But some punters, I am sure, will want to think about the ideas carefully - and perhaps try them with a target figure in mind. Maybe not \$100, maybe \$50 or even \$25. Something to shoot for!

THE PLACE ALL-UP PLAN

• When you're betting for a place, it's invariably wiser to settle for small returns, rather than go chasing longshots who might get a place.
• Look for overall average place returns of \$1.60 to \$1.80, which will mean mainly confining yourself to runners paying \$4.00 or less for a win.
• Link your horses in doubles or trebles. Consider, also, a Yankee bet where you split 3 or 4 selections into all-up doubles and trebles.

By Martin Dowling

PRACTICAL PUNTING - SEPTEMBER 1994