I had something else planned for this month’s Plan of the Month, but it will have to wait until next month.

That’s because I became intrigued by the fascinating article written by P.B. King (pages 4–5 last month).

Good old P.B., you can always rely on him to come up with something special.

He’d been researching some basic suggestions by Daniel O’Sullivan, one of The Rating Bureau’s incisive analysts. Daniel provided a breakdown of possible multiple bets, to give you more chances of winning the quadrella.

Fundamentally, the idea was to identify the major chances in each leg (there are four legs in the quadrella). To these you then added more possible chances in each leg. However, the main principle was that you identified one or two “bankers” for each leg. You then found a way of providing cover if one of the banker races crashed.

Daniel alternatively proposed a banker into four combinations in each leg of the quadrella. P.B. went with Daniel’s first proposition. Ultimately, he looked to find a banker or two in each leg, and to provide cover for them. So, if you took (say) A and B as your bankers in each leg, you needed three As or Bs to come home. In the fourth leg, whatever that fourth leg was, you had another four (saver) possibilities: C, D, E and F. You could only use these savers once.

Ultimately, that was your drawback. Naturally, if your four lots of bankers came in, you’d be very happy. But you have a kind of insurance behind you. As long as you can pick three winners (in two selections each) anywhere in the four races, you have six chances of pulling off the quadrella with the other leg. Naturally you can still lose but it makes a lot more sense than outlaying a crazy amount of money on what is ultimately just one bet.

If you were to simply go like this:

AB/AB/AB/ABCDEF
AB/AB/ABCDEF/AB
AB/ABCDEF/AB/AB
ABCDEF/AB/AB/AB

Then you would be up for 48 times 4 = 192 units. You can cut it back by not including AB in the second, third and fourth multis, as P.B. and Daniel do, but then you cut back on your most favoured ways of collecting. As this stands, you will collect the AB/AB/AB/AB four times if it is successful.

In half dollars, you are still up for \$96 to receive half the dividend. Of course you might get lucky, and that might be the weekend that the quadrella pays \$200,000. Let’s just say that you’d have to get very lucky!

Another reason behind the difficulty there is that the fourth leg (or for that matter one of the others), is probably going to be a horse that not many people expected to win, and so somewhere along the line you are going to be out on a limb.

If you are strong enough, there might be other ways of attacking the quadrella. Ways which might be more likely to prove successful over a period of time. I talk about being strong, because there is always likely to be a run of outs that can scare the pants off nervous players. Realistically, you could go all year without striking a quadrella!

When you are dealing with exotic betting, that’s a penalty which is always just over the horizon. Clever players probably manage to strike the quadrella now and again, but I don’t know anybody who does it regularly.

With that in mind, I’m looking for a conservative approach. The old cliché about “living to fight another day” has never been more true than it is in exotic betting. If you are able to put \$50 or \$100 per week into your racing investment, that implies that over 12 months your theoretical bank is \$2,600 or \$5,200.

You therefore cannot toss money around loosely on quadrellas (or for that matter any exotic form of betting). Let me lay down a few basic suggestions, based on the thinking I’ve done about this excellent article.

1. Identify one quadrella in one metropolitan capital city each week and ignore all others. It is probably best if you stick to the same capital city each week.
2. From the four races that make up your chosen quadrella, try to identify the single best chance of winning. It doesn’t matter which of the four races this horse is in, all that matters is that you decide which is the best chance of winning one race in those four races.
3. Now you have your banker.
4. Use the pre-post market (always the same one, don’t switch papers) and place a tick against the first and second favourites in each of the other three races.
5. In those the same three races, also place a tick against the fifth and sixth favourites.
6. You now have four selections in each of the three legs and a banker in the other leg.
7. Place 50 cent units on every combination.
8. The cost of this would be \$32. If it is too much, then throw caution to the wind and toss out the favourite in each of the three legs. This would mean that you have selected the second favourite along with the fifth and sixth favourite in each of those three legs. That would cost you \$13.50, or \$6.75 for a quarter share.

A point of clarification: simply take the market as it comes, and if horses are on the same line of betting just use the ones that come first, second, fifth and sixth.

Pre-post markets can be very helpful with the betting order – the actual prices are usually ridiculous, but the order is often close to the mark. Have a look back at that article last month and see how you react now. It could change your thinking!

By The Optimist

PRACTICAL PUNTING – APRIL 2006