The secret of successful punting is to find some angle that nobody else has found and milk it for all it’s worth before it’s discovered by all and sundry. This angle can and will be found in data that is freely available to everyone and yet overlooked by most, if not all of them. As the saying goes – there are none so blind as those who will not see.

That’s probably being a little bit harsh, as what we’re looking for is not going to be in bold type or have flashing lights drawing attention to it. No, it will be something just lurking below the surface, which will mean that you have to scratch around a bit to get at it, convert it to cash, and then line your pockets with it. Oh well, dreams are free.

For those of you with a computer there is a wealth of information available, which, if manipulated in certain ways, can put you on a path to sound investments and satisfying profits. By setting up a database and entering as much of the mass of available information as you can, you will have a veritable goldmine in your possession. It then becomes necessary for you to find where to scratch to get at that elusive vein of gold.

This scratching might well take a little time but eventually, as you input the results, you may notice a pattern emerging. This will not be an obvious pattern, as someone else would have stumbled across it before now if it were.

The following information is a work in progress concentrating at this stage on Saturdays only. The reason for this being “work in progress” is that I have not entered all the results for all the tracks at this time.

I spotted my first glimmer of gold when I was checking results on Unitab’s website a few weeks ago and noticed a sequence of numbers that seemed to be occurring rather frequently. As I’m based in Queensland, I use the Unitab website each day and am impressed with the information they provide. One of the things I’ve come to respect is their rating of each horse and so I make a note of the top six rated horses in each race.

Now that’s a simple thing to say and it’s a simple thing to do. However, the secret to unlocking the hidden data is that a little bit of manipulation is needed to get to where the gold is glittering.

Say the top six rated horses are rated in this order – 100, 98, 90, 85, 80, 79 and their saddlecloth numbers are 4, 6, 1, 3, 8 and 2. Assume that the winner is No. 8, No. 6 is second and No. 3 runs third.

When a race is run, as well as entering the winning saddlecloth numbers, I also enter the rating positions – not the rating numbers but the rating positions. In this example, 100 is position 1, 98 is position 2, 90 is position 3, and so on. So, in this case, the rating positions of the three placegetters would be 5, 2 and 4.

Now taking another race, let’s assume that the top six rating numbers were 98, 95, 80, 78, 75 and 70. Saddlecloth numbers were 1, 8, 3, 4, 6 and 2 and the winner was 6 followed by 8  and then 4. The actual rating numbers and the saddlecloth numbers are quite different but the position numbers are the same and it’s now that the gleam of the hidden gold can be seen to show itself.

It was the regular occurrence of these rating position numbers that alerted me to the possibility of creating a system that made use of them. In my imagination, I was beginning to see gold lurking in large quantities everywhere I looked. The question was, should I just look for winners or have a crack at some of the exotics? With a shrug of my shoulders I thought why not try exactas, trifectas and first fours?

I started by boxing the first six rating positions for trifectas and first fours. Being a cautious punter (okay, a tightwad then), I found the costs were more than I cared to risk at $120 for the trifectas and $360 for the first fours. Of course, this cost could be reduced dramatically by only having 25 or 50 cent bets.

While you can have a trifecta in every race, first fours are limited to only those races selected by Unitab. Out of 1,630 races over this period, 557 were first fours. Boxed trifectas in every race would have cost $195,600 in total and you would have lost $57,655. On the other hand, first fours would have meant a total outlay of $200,520 but there would have at least been a profit of $6,774.

This was starting to look rather promising but with the POT only a gnat’s whisker over 3 per cent, I asked myself whether I could improve on that and if so, how? I then decided to apply one of the simple rules used when looking for likely winners. You know the one I mean, it says that to qualify for consideration, the horse has to have a win strike rate of 20 per cent or more.

As I’ve done in the past, I sorted the results into alphabetical order of tracks and then checked the outcomes of the different bets and found that some tracks have never had a first four win. Therefore, I modified the rule so that instead of a horse having to have a win strike rate of 20 per cent or more, I would only look at having first four bets on tracks that had a first four strike rate of 20 per cent or more.

Doing this reduced the number of first four bets from 557 to 225 and with 71 collects, gave a strike rate of 31.6 per cent. The profit jumped up to $71,231 from $6,774 for a POT of 87.9 per cent. Of course, bets of 25 cents would be more manageable and would reduce the profit to $17,807.75. The tracks which I found that had over 20 per cent first four strike rates on Saturdays were Cheltenham, Gold Coast, Moonee Valley, Randwick and Rosehill.

Trying the same tactic with trifectas was not quite as exciting, as I found that only two tracks had over 20 per cent trifecta strike rates and they were Ipswich and Kyneton. There were a total of 32 bets and 11 collects for a strike rate of 34.4 per cent and with a POT of 95.7 per cent, they showed a profit of $3,676. Being ever on the lookout for economy, I wondered if it were possible to reduce the outlay further and increase profits.

What had started me on this quest was the fact that when I was entering the results I had found that the first three rating position numbers were frequently repeated. I decided to have a look at the possibility of boxing them in exactas or trifectas. Boxing three numbers in an exacta or a trifecta costs the same – $6. It seemed to me that that’s quite a lot better than $120 or $360.

I reckoned that it would be easier to snag an exacta, which requires only two horses, rather than a trifecta, which needs three. Therefore, starting with exactas, I found there were a total of 236 costing $1,416 and there were 62 strikes giving me a strike rate of just over 26 per cent and with the average exacta paying $35.50, there was a profit of $783.50 for a POT of 55 per cent. Trifectas were a different story. There were only 17 of them with four strikes for a 23.5 per cent strike rate but with a profit of $120.40, the POT was a healthy 118 per cent.

After thinking about these results, I tried an interesting experiment. I looked at boxing four, five and six horses in first fours. I was not expecting the results I got. With $1 units, boxing four costs $24 so with a total of 557 bets the cost would have been $13,368. The returns came to $13,088 so there would have been a loss of $280. Not the sort of result I’d hoped for.

Boxing five would have cost $120 for each bet and a total outlay of $66,840. The returns were a miserable $28,189 meaning a loss of $38,651. I was on the verge of deciding that maybe I should forget about first fours. The surprise came when I played with boxing six. Each bet would cost $360 for a total outlay of a telephone-number-like amount of $200,520. However, the returns were a very nice $224,807 giving a profit of $24,287.

That’s a POT of just over 12 per cent – maybe not the greatest but hey, 24 grand is a nice pocket warmer.
As I said earlier, this is still a work in progress. I’ve started delving into results for the other days of the week and I can tell you that the outlook is glittering for as far as I have gone so far. At this stage, Wednesday is not a good day for boxing six horses in trifectas as no tracks qualify but all other days show  profits of between $3,000 and $9,000 and POTs of between  59 per cent and 190 per cent.

Exactas show profits from $200 to $800 and POTs of 21 per cent to 100 per cent, while first fours vary between the lowest of $700 right through to a massive $132,000. POTs varied from 33 per cent to 507 per cent. Boxing the first three rating positions in trifectas shows profits of between $100 and $1,000 with POTs of 83 per cent to 671 per cent.

To whet your appetite further, I can tell you that if every day, you boxed six horses in trifectas and first fours, your total winnings would have amounted to $313,428. If, on the other hand you only boxed the top three horses in trifectas and exactas, your profits would have been $6,214.

Bear in mind that as this is a work in progress and not all the data has been input yet, when it has been, the results could possibly be even better. On the other hand, I feel it only fair to point out that it could go the other way. 

Therefore, you can see that something as simple as looking at numbers from a different angle has the potential to make you a fortune. I’ve told you the method I used and given you my findings for Saturday tracks that showed they have produced winning results. Now that you have the basics, I’ll leave it for you to search and fossick for the gold in the other days of the week. Good luck.

By Mr Money