This is a plan with a vital stake attached. I call it The Coming of Age Plan because it is designed around the figure 21. I have been asked so many times how to control betting. It is not as easy as it seems, because so many meetings are on every day and there are so many ways to bet.

My first and main advice is to skip all meetings except the metropolitan ones and big country meetings where the form is totally exposed for you to read.

For example, if the Kyneton Cup is on, the Sporting Globe will have the form complete for you to examine. You can devote time to applying your favourite plans, too, because things like course wins and win percentages will be available. If you try to apply your ideas to the maiden at Boolamakanka, that is not likely to be the case.

The second piece of advice I offer, always, is limit the scope of your horizons. If you like to dabble in the exotics, then by all means do so. But limit yourself to, say, two tracks, and to maybe four races per track. More on this as we progress into the plan, but I read Becky Symons' article on this last month and she was talking of much the same kind of restriction. The old garbage that is trotted out about Pittsburg Phil and "you can beat a race but not the races" is known to every PPM. reader by now, so I won't go into it. Of course you can beat the races these days, but it takes that quality we all wish we had more of: patience.

The third helpful hint I pass across is to limit your stakes to what you can afford. If you cannot afford to lose a thousand bucks then don't take it to the races, because taking it implies that you expect you might have to use it all, and that implies, whether you can face the truth or not, that you can lose it all!

So now we look at a plan which tries to take logic into consideration for the average punter. I suggest we take the races on which the doubles are run (not race to race but extra, daily, additional ... that sort of one-tax double).

I suggest further that we limit ourselves to around that $21 per race. The plan is designed to give a chance of a collect in, I estimate, 25 per cent of races. That can only be based on my racing instincts, and of course trifectas are very much a matter of luck. So we keep the investment on them to a minimum, but we do chance our arm a little.


  1. Only operate on the metropolitan meeting in your chosen state.
  2. Only operate on the TAB double races (see above).
  3. Selections are as follows:
    1st selection: the first horse in the prepost market (FAV).
    2nd selection: the last horse listed before double figure odds (DF).
    3rd selection: the first track winner as you go down the field (T).
    4th selection: the first last start winner as you go down the field (W).

There are four selections but most times there will only be three or less final selections as the same horse qualified under more than one rule in my test run on most occasions. The rules seem pretty self-explanatory and I have spelt them out. "First mentioned" means just that. "Last horse before double figures" means just that, too. The first track winner is the first one with "t" or "c" against its name (either will do). OK?

The betting is as follows, assuming three selections appear:

  1. Combine all selections in the daily double or the extra double (whichever applies). Bet $2 on each double, plus $2 on the first leg favourite with each of the three second leg selections.
  2. Combine all selections in $5 quinellas and a $6 trifecta.

You will note that both (1) and (2) total $21.

If there are four selections in one leg, or in both legs, bet as follows:

No quinella or trifecta in any race where there are four selections.

Couple the runners in doubles as follows: If four in one leg and three in the other, back all combinations for $2 ($24).

If four in each leg, back all combinations for $1 and take the first leg favourite with all selections in leg two for another $1 (cost $20).

Here is the workout for Melbourne, Moonee Valley, on Cox Plate Day.
(T = first track winner, DF = last before double figures, W = first winner).

Extra Double-first leg: Crush (T) 1st, Legend Bearer (DFW) 2nd Quinella: $12.65 x 10 = $126.50
Second leg: Tierra Rist (DF) 1st. Extra double: $12.25 x 4 = $49  Daily Double-first leg: Rubiton (FAV) 1st.
Second leg: King Matthias (W) lst. Daily double: $38.85 x 4 = $155.40

There were four selections in the second leg of the daily double so an outlay of $24 was called for, and there were no quinellas or trifecta on the race. In the second leg of the extra double there were only two selections, hence the bet was reduced slightly as there was only a $5 quinella and no trifecta, and the extra double cost $14 and not $21.

It may be that you want to make certain there are always at least three selections. In that case you could simply ignore a horse once it qualifies and test the next rule on the rest of the field (apply the rules in order though).

Quinella-$35, Lost.
Trifecta-$12, Lost.
Doubles-$38; Return $204.40; Profit $166.40.
Overall Outlay $85; Return $204.40;
Profit $119.40 (140%).

By The Optimist