In the February issue of P.P.M., regular contributor Martin Dowling unveiled a selection method he called Weighty Wisdom, which relies for its efficiency on a combination of form, weight and consistency. Many readers contacted us to report success, but none gave as much detail as Katoomba reader John Couldwell.

He put a lot of time and effort into monitoring the initial results from the Weighty Wisdom system, and we have compiled a special P.P.M. article from his correspondence with us. John's work is a typical example of how readers can investigate P.P.M. methods and benefit from them.

It's evident to me that the use of Weighty Wisdom ratings has resulted in a reasonable number of trifectas being achieved, many of which were quite substantial.

Of course, the prospect of choosing the six highest-rating horses means having to box them for $120 per race, which is an expensive exercise, even though a profit of more than $5000 would have been achieved had this been done for the 96 races I rated in Sydney and Melbourne between the period January 19 and February 23.

You can see from the details in the 'box' on this page how Weighty Wisdom scored in a couple of races at Newcastle on February 27 and Warwick Farm on February 23. The winner at Newcastle, jack Attack, was the highest rated horse with 1082 points, while the second placegetter Brunchtime was second-rated with 709 points, and the third horse home, Gredaan, had 705 points and was the third highest rated horse. Weighty Wisdom, then, provided the perfect 1-2-3 trifecta result, paying 58/1 odds. (Jack Attack started at 15/4).

At Warwick Farm, the result was even more pleasing, with the top-rated horse Reckless Day (918 points) winning, with the second top-rated Immersion (839 points) finishing 2nd, and the 6th rated horse, Dendy Beach (498 points) in 3rd place. The trifecta paid $1196 in N.S.W. (Reckless Day started at 7/1, Immersion 15/1 and Dendy Beach 10/1, indicating how Weighty Wisdom has the capability to select very good-priced runners, and not just the favourites).


Let me say now, though, that I have not used Weighty Wisdom literally! I found it difficult to get sufficient races where all participants had had 10 or more starts, as required by the method. Where some horses have less than the required number of starts I decided to rate them only if they have a minimum of three starts, not quite the formula suggested by Martin Dowling, but one I feel is just as efficient.

I feel there could be potential top-liners with high win and place percentages overlooked if the arbitrary figure of 10 is used. The wisdom of this amended approach-or was it the good luck! was seen on February 2 when the healthy quinella dividend of $309.60 was returned for the second placegetter (three starts) Sealed Bid and the winner The Strategist (four starts).

Another decision on my part has been to exclude all 2yo races as subjects for rating as it's fairly obvious that many runners are first-uppers, or have insufficient starts to form the basis of a reasonable assessment.

I have also considered excluding all horses from investment that have a rating of 400 points or more LESS than the highest rated horse. I feel that if there are 400+ points between the highest rated and another horse then that is sufficient a gap to safely eliminate the lower-rated horse as a contender. Occasionally, the results have shown this approach to be wrong(!) but on balance I think it's a reasonably wise move to adopt. However, in the trifecta approach these horses have been retained.

One word of caution: This is advised for horses rated over the 1000 mark. In these instances, I suggest a check be made to ascertain whether this high rating has been achieved from competing in poor class races, perhaps in some remote area. I have not eliminated them from my ratings list of results, but do regard some such horses as dubious prospects for investment.

Here is some statistical information which P.P.M. readers should find interesting as a result of my tests with Weighty Wisdom.

  1. 72 races were rated from January 19 to February 13 inclusive, embracing Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday meetings in Sydney and Melbourne.
  2. Use of the six highest-rated horses in each race found the winner in 62 of the 72 races. (One runner, Ginseng, did not have any rating at all in Sydney Race 1, January 30, but was included in the top six merely to make up the number; 1 was aware of some reasonable track form and with R. S. Dye on board, and trained by Dr Geoff Chapman, it appeared best of the unrated brigade).
  3. Using all six top-rated horses in each race achieved the trifecta 28 times. Boxing all six at $120 for 72 races meant an outlay of $8640 for a return on the 28 trifectas of$15,013. 

    (Updated figures to February 23 embracing 96 races showed 32 winning trifectas for profit of more than $5000).
  4. Using the same six horses provided the quinella 44 times and unearthed a choice $2296.80 return on Race 7 at Caulfield on January 26. Boxing the six for quinellas at $15 multiples would have cost $1080 for a return on the 44 winning quinellas of $3639.10. However, that one mouth watering quinella tends to distort the result but even without the profit exceeded $250 for just 10 racing days (about 25 per cent on turnover).

By considering a different, and cheaper, betting approach on the trifectas I feel there is potential for maintaining sound profits. The bets on the trifecta would be as follows (each line represents a single trifecta):

The chart below (The Full Picture) shows that eight of the successful trifectas would have been snared by this approach from a total 37 races with six rated horses only, showing a profit of over $6800. We have to wonder, though, whether the same pattern could continue into the future? That is going to be something really worth monitoring.


Summing up: After becoming involved in testing Weighty Wisdom, my feeling is that it is very worthwhile, extremely simple to operate and quite effective in locating the main chances in any race. It provides endless possibilities for betting-straight-out or progressive, plus quinellas and trifectas.

Actual points. Jack Attack 1082, Brunchtime 707, Gredaan 705, Devotee 611, Accessible 550, Leijester 501.


By John Couldwell