I have been playing around with the quadrella lately, seeking a way of breaking the cost back, whilst not losing sight of the main objective, which is to WIN it. It’s easy to cut back too far, and then to realise later on that for the sake of a dollar or so, you might have won the big prize. Big prizes are my aim in this article.

With the big quadrella pool opening up any time now, I am presenting you with some of my thoughts re capturing it. Just once a year would do the trick, and twice or three times would be magic. It’s a lot easier for you and me than Lotto (impossible), lotteries (nearly impossible) and a whole range of stuff I know very little about. Racing is after all one of our major knowledge bases, and we ought to have a better chance than most.

Leave the Mystery Six and so on to those who believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny – I will go right overboard about these at the end of this article – you and I will focus on the area in which we can make logical selections and have a very fair chance of making decent profits.

We also have some chance of making a huge profit. That’s my aim here – to offer you some ways of hitting the big time. Some of my ideas here are restricted to being more likely to succeed, whilst others will mean that if you are successful just the once you will be engaging Mayne Nickless to escort you to the bank.

I sent this first idea around the office and got a few ideas back, especially from Damien. Thanks Damien for your suggestion, which I am using here.

If you are going to try to win a lot for a little (one of my pet ideas, and one that I have often floated on these pages) then you must be prepared to apply maximum logic to your system. I mean that you cannot get too speculative, and yet also you must take a risk.

I believe I am presenting some ideas here that you will find very useful and which probably can win some of you big money.

Firstly, here is a staking plan designed to make you a lot of money if you can find the right horses.

Now before you tell me that you can’t do that, let me point you to Melbourne last Saturday. As I write, “last Saturday” is November 20. The seventh race in Melbourne was won by a Vision System initial contender, the only initial contender in Melbourne that day, and it paid $30.30. Lots Of Swing started at 25/1, and I stress it was the only contender. It was not a final contender, nor was it a selection. It was, however, the ONLY horse that qualified even to be looked at. We call them initial contenders. I had identified it because there is a basic and simple identifying rule for horses to pass before the system comes into action.

So it can be argued that this could be a reasonable selection for you to complete your quadrella with.

That quadrella paid $10,787 in NSW.

The TAB favourite won the first leg, and the second and third legs were won by 10/1 chances.

How about if you’d picked the favourite in race 4, the first horse at double figures in races 5 and 6, and the Vision initial contender in race 7?

That would do it. But here is a more likely possibility.

Let’s say you allocate $50 to picking the quadrella.

Let’s say you will bet in 50 cent units. This means you will be able to make 100 combinations.

 We have identified the winner of the final leg because we are fired up, having purchased my Vision method, and wanting to get into the action there. We are unsure about the first leg, but the favourite looks the goods. We make our own picks in legs 2 and 3.

We could decide to go two ways: Favourite/Leg 2/Leg 3/Vision; and Field/Leg 2/Leg 3/Field.

Possible, but we’d need to get lucky with legs 2 and 3.

Here is another way:

Favourite/Field/Field/Vision  (cost at 50 cents is $105 – oops, too much). We could try favourite and last start winners (2)/favourite and last start winners (3)/ favourite and last start winners (2)/favourite and last start winners (1) and throw in the only Vision initial contender.

That’s 3 x 4 x 3 x 3 = 108 ($54).

Perhaps too much outlay still, but it did have a great return. More on this approach follows later, below.

Here is my suggestion for a reasonable cutback on that.

Take each of your four selections (A, B, C and D) with the field in one leg. You have to get three of your horses up, but get three and you MUST get the quaddie.





So you’d take your selection to win legs 1, 2 and 3 into the field for the final leg (ABC/Field).

And your selections for the first and second leg into the field in leg 3, then into your selection in leg 4.

And your selection in leg 1 into the field in leg 2, then into your selections in legs 3 and 4.

And finally the field in the first leg into your selections in legs 2, 3 and 4.

For good luck you take your own four selections in a $1 quadrella.

Picking all four winners means you get the quadrella six times (i.e. for $3).

Total cost is $25 for 50 cent units.

Return is $5,400, less a few bucks, times six ($32,300+).

Very acceptable for $25! And only half of $50.

Now for some insurance.

Take each of your single selections into the field for the second leg as a double (or all-up).

So you bet A/Field.

And B/Field.

And C/Field.

You also bet Field/B.



As six running doubles.

The cost may be around $35 to $40 for the entire doubles operation, but hit one double where two of your selections are involved, at, say, $6 (5/1) and $11 (10/1), and there is $66 in 50 cent betting.

All bets are covered for the meeting with this sort of success. You are also quite likely to be on your way to a massive quadrella, even with winners like these two mid-range winners. There is usually a daily or extra double amongst these races. Don’t overlook it.

Another way of attacking the quaddie is to use basic form logic. Take the last start winners and the second last start winners in each leg, and you will be a long way along the track.

I monitored this on a few occasions in the latter part of this past year and it came up well although sometimes the cost started to mount. We must remember that if we are dealing with four races, we cannot expect the same plan to be successful in every leg. This is why we must retain our staking level at something that is realistic. I suggested that the 50 cent unit is a good place to start. It’s true that if you see the dividend declared to $1, you will often only get half of it, but there is another angle to remember here.

If the pool is $100,000 and yours is the only live bet, the quadrella will be declared at $1 and it will be (approximately) $160,000. This is because it looks better for advertising and it is genuinely the divvy for a dollar. But if you’d had $5 on it and you were the only winner, you can see that your win would be 1/5 of $80,000 ($16,000), then multiplied by five (i.e. $80,000).

The pool is still only $100,005 (give or take) and the dividend is still declared to a dollar. The divvy will be $16,000. Work it out on paper and see how it goes. There are small bits and pieces the TABs will iron out between themselves as to jackpots and the like, but basically if you really fancy a wild outsider combination, there might not be any point in betting 10 times the 50 cents you were originally going to bet. If you are the only winner then you might well get the same amount you’d have received anyway. I believe that the Victorian way of doing this is as I have stated, and that NSW will simply fall into line here – with any luck the misleading jackpots and so forth will disappear.

By the way did you notice the first casualty of the amalgamation? That’s right, you got it. The silliest bet of the last 50 years, the good old Spinner. Nobody ever owned up to creating that piece of madness. Now it has been consigned to the trashcan. May it never resurface.

Back to the possible ways of finding the winners in each leg. I don’t think anything has ever come close to the last start winner. Books have been written about it. Hundreds of systems abound.

The fact of the matter is that the last start winner is the best guide to recent form you can ever hope to find with a cursory glance at the formbook. And for that reason it is often shorter than it should be in the market, but it might well be overlooked in the multiples. I am always interested in it as a betting medium.

Unbeaten horses are also worth a look in quadrellas. The trainer, or somebody, believes that their horse should have a chance at this level (assuming your quaddie is a city one) and there is argument to say, “toss it in”. I remember getting Call Me Spike a few years ago, midweek, for a beaut daily double (at Sandown was it?) when he came to town unbeaten.

I think I am right in saying that there were two unbeaten horses in the race, and I took both in the double with what I believed to be a fair bet in the first leg. I can’t recall the amount I won on the DD, but I do recall that Call Me Spike massacred the field and the divvy was very, very nice. I think from memory he paid about $15 the win.

If we take last start winners and second last start winners we could end up with (average) 2 x 4 x 3 x 5 = 120, and again we have too many. But if we are patient and we are waiting for the big one, we might decide that only pre-post $10 and up is ever included. That could reduce things to perhaps 1 x 2 x 1 x 3 = 6. Now there’s a difference! Imagined of course, but quite possible.

Why not restrict any selection to the $10+ area, in at least some of the legs? If we are looking for the big one, then we have to fight hard to eliminate the enemy (in this case every other punter on the TAB). I would guess that 90 per cent of the enemy will not venture into those uncharted waters of the double figure horses.

So let’s say that it will be where we START our selecting. Let’s you and I have a crack at the other end, fishing only for the big one and leaving all the tiddlers to be won every week by the small thinkers. So we have the last start or second last start winners, but they must be listed at $10 or longer.

Now let’s include TAB No. 1. Why? Well, because it is always the good horse, and there will be some reason other than the alphabet for its being TAB No. 1. It might be a weight for age event, in which case it will be a class animal – and TAB No. 1 wins WFA races often. It might be TAB No. 1 in a handicap, and that will in all likelihood mean it is the best-performed horse in the race. But, remember, it needs to be $10 or more. We could end up with one or two of the four races having a $10 TAB No. 1 inclusion.

Now let’s look at the barrier. If any horse drawing 1 or 2 is $10+, it gets a guernsey with us. There could be two in each race but I’d be very surprised these days.

Now we might be in a position to have selected about 50 or so combinations:

Last start and second last start winners at $10 or more.

Barriers 1 and 2 at $10 or more.

TAB No. 1 at $10 or more.

Any unbeaten horses will come in, regardless of price.

I would guesstimate that we could end up with 3 x 3 x 2 x 4 = 72 ($36), maybe 90 ($45). That has to be a guess, but I am working on the few unbeaten horses we get in quadrella races, the few TAB No.1s that go around at 9/1 or more, the few winners with little support in the market, and the odd good barrier draw that is ignored.

There will be races where there are only eight or nine runners and the market will squeeze you out of any selections at all. You can always go back to the field bet as described above.

Identify one of the factors (for example TAB No. 1, and last start winners) and take them with the field in that leg. You could end up with, say, 2 x 2 x F x 3 = 96 = $48 where the field bet covers eight horses. Maybe in leg 1, TAB No. 1 is at $12 and there is a last start winner; we will say leg 2 has two last start winners; the field is taken in leg 3 because there is no bet at all; and leg 4 has TAB No. 1 and two last start winners.

Everything is modifiable. Everything is possible. You can set up the quadrella to suit your own comfort zones and then you can work inside those zones.

The quadrella is going to be a huge winner for the combined giant TABs. It is not going to be first cab off the rank, and you might like to take some time to get your artillery in place and work out how best to attack before they amalgamate it. However, when it becomes one gigantic pool, I say again that you and I have better chances of hitting it than we ever will have of getting near the other speculative areas that seek our money (Lotto, lotteries, etc).

Poker machines, of course, do not even deserve a mention in sensible circles. There is nothing good to be said for them. I am suggesting that you take stock of everything you ever spend on all forms of  “pipedreams”. How much do you put out?

Is it not true that you know more about racing, and you have some chance of getting a four-race sequence correct if you are given three or four chances in each leg? As against that, you have no chance of getting those lottery games “right”. They remain absolute blind luck. Your dollar is exactly the same as everyone else’s and your numbers are also exactly the same. So you will never get an edge. There isn’t one. You will run with the mob every time you make such a bet (and it is a bet – that’s all it is – a blind bet!).

Stick this paragraph where you will never lose it. You have an edge in racing because you think about it and know about it, and you can influence your selections. In all those other “chance” games, we bet blind and we are every bit as big a mug as the other millions of lemmings  who bet.

It’s time to get smart and use your edge!

By The Optimist