We’ve covered quite a few multiple combinations for the exotics in the last few issues of PPM and this time around I’m looking at the lower priced end of the scale . . . yes, it’s back to basics!

I suppose the one combination that is overbet as far as trifectas go is the 3-runner ‘box’ for \$6. It’s easy to pick out three, link them all and hand over your six bucks. Okay, that’s fine as far as it goes, but there are better ways to attack the trifecta without spending too much money.

You can spend just \$2 and give yourself a neat little bet, proving you are confident about the runners you’ve chosen. You use one horse as the banker to win (horse A) and you use B and C for 2nd and 3rd. That’s your \$2.

You are shooting for the result of ABC or ACB for the trifecta.

What if you are super-confident you have three horses to fill the placings but you are much more confident about two of them (A and B) than you are about C. The bet then would be A and B to run 1st/2nd and you throw in C to run 3rd. The cost os this bet is, again, \$2. The combination is AB//AB//C.

What about lashing out and spending \$4? Once again, you can rely on two bankers for 1st and 2nd (A and B) and use two others (C and D) to run 3rd. The combination is AB//AB//CD. If A or B wins, and if one of them runs 2nd, you then have C/D going to fill 3rd place.

If you pick your betting spots carefully you really can land some healthy trifectas with this low-cost approach. Just make sure those bankers can do the business!

The same approach can be used using three horses to fill the 3rd placing. This will cost \$6. You once again use A and B as bankers for 1st/2nd and then you have CDE running for 3rd. The combination is AB//AB//CDE. As you go upwards you can use this approach with as many runners for 3rd as you like. Using four runners for 3rd will cost \$8 and with five runners for 3rd the cost is \$10.

Another approach, which costs \$4, is to use A and B as bankers to win and run 2nd, and then throw in Horse C for 2nd and 3rd.  The combination is AB//ABC//ABC.

You can add a little bit ‘extra’ to a normal ‘box’ of three runners by simply adding another horse to run 3rd. This gives you ABC for 1st/2nd and then those three and a fourth horse (D) for the 3rd slot.

The combination is ABC//ABC//ABCD. The cost of this approach is \$12.

To secure really low-cost trifecta combinations you will probably need to have a banker selection. There are a number of ways to get low-cost combinations. Let’s assume we are looking at spending no more than \$10.

You could have a banker (Horse A) to win the race, horses B and C to run 2nd and 3rd, and then those two plus four others for 3rd. The combination goes as follows:

A//BC//BCDEFG equalling a bet of \$10. I reckon this is not a bad bet. If you are confident you have the winner, and you like a couple of good chances to fill the quinella, then you are left with a nice hand for the 3rd placing – five runners altogether (remember one of the six you bet has run 2nd so it can’t be there for 3rd as well).

You could up this bet by \$2 by putting in another extra runner for 3rd, making it seven for that slot. This combination would be:

A//BC//BCDEFGH costing \$12.

Another \$12 bet is ti use a banker for the win and have three horses running for 2nd and 3rd, plus another two horses for 3rd. Here’s how the combination lines up:

A//BCD//BCDEF for \$12. As you can see you have thee runners for the 2nd slot. Two of these will go for the 3rd slot along with two others. I say again: You need that win banker to be a good choice, and from a long-term position you need to be able to secure a strong win-strike percentage with it. If the banker loses, all is lost.

A further \$12 bet is to use two bankers for the win, and then use those and one more for 2nd, and those three for 3rd along with a fourth and fifth runner. The combination goes like this:

AB//ABC//ABCDE equalling a bet of \$12.

Okay, let’s lift the stakes a little higher and look at some combinations that will cost a bit more but should be well worth using on a long-term basis, provided your selection ability is up to the task! For \$18 you can have a 3x3x5 combination. It gives you three runners for 1st and 2nd, and then those three plus two more for the 3rd placing.

The combination looks like this:

ABC//ABC//ABCDE and the cost is \$18. A point to remember when you are doing the sums is that all the costs I have laid out here are assuming \$1 units. You can, of course, use 50c units, which halves the outlay (and the returns!). You also can use the flexibet facility which allows you to bet as much as you like and to receive a percentage of any return.

To end this article, let’s take a look at the First 4. How cheaply can we get away with a combination? Okay, there’s a \$10 bet worth thinking about.

You use Horse A as the banker, you put in B and C for 2nd and 3rd, and then, for the fourth slot, you put in five other runners. The combination goes like this:

A//BC//BC//DEFGH costing \$10. It’s something of a task to land the First 4 with such a small outlay but if you’re confident you can get the first three home, then at least you know you have five other runners to fill that 4th home spot.

Each extra horse you add for 4th, by the way, will increase the bet \$2 a time. So a 1-2-2-6 will cost \$12, a 1-2-2-7 will be \$14 and so on.

NEXT MONTH: More useful First 4 combinations around the \$40 and \$50 mark.

By Jon Hudson

PRACTICAL PUNTING – NOVEMBER 2008