I have been besieged by callers wanting to know more about the AB-field trifectas I have a craving for, and wanting me to apply some rules and regulations to selections.

I will not be providing specific "systematic" rules this month, because I want to go another way. Next month we can have a look at some examples.

Why ABC, and even D, as I titled this month's effort?

Well, A is the first horse (see the interviews with Damien Whitchurch in the August and September issues of PPM), and B is the second horse.

C is the field. Shouldn't it be F? No, because we are going to try something different here to keep matters within the bounds of betting reality.

Say you have a bank of 900 units. I have said so many times in the past (many of you can probably repeat this parrot-fashion) that you don't need the bank up front; you merely have to be sure that you can be honest about it and not spend 10 per cent on the first day. One per cent would be 9 units, maximum.

If you start with 3 units for an AB race, that leaves 887 units in the bank if those 3 go down. You will need to find another 3 for the next operation.

My advice would be to seek out one or two ABs a day. I have frequently found them on daily double races, allowing me an extra bite of the cherry. For example, if I have AB-AB-field (C) in each leg, I will also take a daily double AB into AB (four bets).

I call it bet D.

My bets are:

  • Two singles in each leg: A and B (four bets, four bank units)
  • Two C trifectas (two bets, two bank units)
  • Four doubles (D) (four bets equivalent to one unit of my bank)

This means at least 7 units of my bank are in play for the day's operation.

Of course, I bet so that if my first leg wins, I may not then bet on A and B in the second leg, and I can sit on 5 units outlay for the day if I wish.

Should I lose the first bet and the double, I might consider having 2 units on each of the A and B singles in the second leg, thereby increasing my day's outlay to the 9 unit (1 per cent) figure 1 mentioned above.

Let's go into all this in some detail.

Let's say I pick an AB trifecta in race five and another in race seven, and they are the legs of a daily double.

I estimate that, on average, I will outlay $26 to $30 on this AB trifecta. To simplify matters I am going to therefore make $30 equal 1 unit.

A $30 unit means I will need a bank of $27,000, with a maximum of $270 ever being in play on one day.

If you bet in 50 cent trifecta units, you can halve all that. A $15 unit means a bank of $13,500, over 100 betting days (which could mean a year for the weekend punter, and assumes no returns at all from a hundred ABs, before he goes broke!).

Let's say I bet in $1 units, okay? I have to be able to find $270 maximum if I want to take this idea through. I remind you that if this is too steep, forget it and go back to 1 unit total on A and B, and 1 on C. That means you'd spend $30 on the trifecta (C) and $15 win on each of A and B, a total of $60 in $1 units and $30 in 50 cent units.

Now, back to that $270.

I bet $30 on the C in each leg. That makes $60. I regard that as ONE unit each.

I then bet ONE UNIT on A and ONE UNIT on B in leg one. That makes $30 each, or $60.

So I have outlaid $90 on race five.

So far I have also outlaid $30 on race seven for the C.

I am out $120, or four units.

I then take the daily double, AB into AB. I call it the D bet. Total outlay is ONE UNIT, $30, so the four doubles here are for $7.50 each.

I have now outlaid $150, or 5 units (A,B,C in leg one, D in both legs, and C in leg two).

I do not bet on A and B in the second leg until my first leg has been run. I then decide whether or not to bet on A and B in the second leg.

If I know I have a good double going, I don't outlay the additional 1 or 2 units. However, I need to use my head here. If the C got up in leg one, clearly I am having a good day with a trifecta and a winner, and I let the double run. If it didn't, but A or B still won, I estimate my likely return on the double and calculate the necessity of having more money on the race seven selections.

If they are not favourites, I will probably just let them run. If they are shortish (say $5 or less), I might still back my second leg selections. This is unlikely but I might do it, given the right circumstances.

If I lose race five altogether, I will probably have TWO UNITS on A and B in the seventh race.

So I will now have outlaid 9 units for the race.

Next month I will argue the case for and against betting two horses for a win in a race, and look at various ways of arranging these bets to take advantage of the odds and the logic of racing.

By The Optimist