Wouldn't it be nice if all betting ideas were simple? It would save us all so much trouble and heartburn if winners were easy to find!

Of course, it isn't like that in the tough world of racing and betting, and despite what we all might do, things are most unlikely to change. Winners will be as elusive to discover even 100 years from now (assuming we still have 'live' racing in those far-off days and not some super electronic-computer replacement).

There are ways we can simplify our approach to selection. The well-known ones are to let someone else do it for you. Some punters rely on one or two popular tipsters in the newspapers, or they take the tips given out by the trackmen on the Saturday morning radio programs. Others will look at the tipsters' polls and simply put their money on the first two selections.

A friend of mine, who prides himself on being able to win regularly, tells me that his favourite method is to take multiple combinations on the various State daily doubles. He will couple three in the first leg with another three in the second leg.

"That's all very well," I told him, "but how do you arrive at the selections?" My pal, who is a busy man and rarely has time for the study of detailed form, says he merely runs his eye down the runners, notes their last start placings, and takes the three horses with the best form at their last start - that is, the best form placing.

"You'd be amazed at how many good doubles I get," he said.

Well, his boasting was enough to persuade me to look into the matter and know what? - He was right. You can strike a heap of winners with this very, very simple idea.

I have shown in the box next to this story the result of just one afternoon's action. There have been many more like it, but for reasons of space we cannot reproduce all the results. Suffice to say, that they were impressive enough for me to sit down and write this article.

Okay - let's assume you have your morning newspaper in front of you and you want to take a 3 x 3 on the daily double. You note that two of the runners in the first leg are last-start winners. So you have two of your three horses already. Three others ran 2nd last start. You now have to choose one of this trio. You do this by applying a basic rule -you select the one which finished closest to the winner last time out. Horse A was beaten 4 lengths, horse B was beaten 2 lengths and horse C lost by a neck. Naturally, horse C is your pick.

In the second leg, one horse is a last start winner, so he becomes the first of your three horses. One horse has run 2nd last start, so he is your second selection. Two horses ran 3rd last time out, so you take the one which finished closest to the winner.

There you have it - a two minute daily doubles system! Ah ha, you say, but what about if you have five horses which are last-start winners in the one race?

Obviously, three of them will be your selections - but how to eliminate the other two ? My suggestion is that you take the three that are the best-fancied in the pre-post betting market.

This is the safest way to handle this particular question. In races where there are no last-start winners, and there are five or six horses with 2nd or 3rd placings, you merely apply the rule I outlined before of selecting those which finished closest to the winner at their most recent outing.

Note, then, the easy-to-follow rules for this superb idea:

  1. Take three horses in each leg of the daily double (or four if you like).
  2. Select the three that did best at their last start starting with winners, then 2nds, then 3rds, then 4ths and so on.
    Don't worry about any other factors.
  3. In the event of a tie for last start winners (when there are three or more) select the ones that are the best-fancied in the pre-post betting. In the case of placegetters tieing, select the ones that finished closest to the winner at their last start.
  4. Couple up your selections 3 x 3 for a total of nine combinations, or $4.50 for 50e units. A 4 x 4 combination would cost $8.

You can also attack the daily double, using this idea, and employing the advantage of betting to percentages.

By taking into account the prices of the horses in the morning betting market in your newspaper, you can reasonably ascertain what each double might pay. All you do is find out what an all-up double bet on two horses would return you. Red is 4-1 in the first leg, and Black is 2-1 in the second leg. If you had $1 on Red and put all the return on Black you would have an all-up bet like this: 5 x 3 equals 15, minus 1. In this way, you are adding one to the price of each horse, then deducting one for the initial $1 bet. Your $1 bet on Red returns you $5, which all goes on Black at 2-1, for a total return of $15, less your $1 initial stake.

Using percentages, you can easily decide how much money to place on each double, instead of putting the same amount on each.

Say your fancies in the first leg are Red at 3-1, White at 4-1 and Blue at 7-1. In the second leg they are Black at 2-1, Brown at 4-1 and Green at 6-1. The combined odds on each double assessed as an all-up bet would be: Red and Black 11-1 (9%), Red and Brown 19-1 (5%), Red and Green 27-1 (4%), White and Black 14-1 (7%), White and Brown 24-1 (4%), White and Green 34-1 (3%), Blue and Black 23-1 (4%), Blue and Brown 39-1 (3%) and Blue and Green 55-1 (2%).

In working out the price percentages, I have ignored fractions and gone to the nearest whole number. The percentages, to take out approximately $100 on a double, total 4l (41 is the figure obtained by adding all the percentages together). So with this we would be aiming to win $59, if all the doubles were to pay as we expected (assuming one of them won).

We could gain much more if the winning dividend was greater than we anticipated. Another idea is to go in big on two of the combinations you fancy the most.

We may strongly fancy Red in the first leg and Black and Brown in the second leg. So the plan is to invest a total of $100, placing savers on the other combinations. We invest $4 on Red and Green, $7 on White and Black, $4 on White and Brown, $3 on White and Green, $4 on Blue and Black, $3 on Blue and Brown and $2 on Blue and Green.

These saver bets total $27 and if any of them won the double we would pick up approximately $100, if the dividend was as we anticipated.

We are left with $73 to split between our leftover two top-choice doubles. We put, say, $40 on Red and Black and the remaining $33 on Red and Brown. Should either combination be successful we are in for a big collect.

If Red and Black got up, at the anticipated dividend of 11 -1 we would have a return of 40 x 11, equalling $440, for an outlay of $100.

If our top-choice doubles fail, we at least could have a saver double coming up, to recoup our outlay.


By Statsman