It’s back to the trifecta this month, and this time I’m looking at some of the more costly multiple combinations.

I’m using \$75 as the minimum stake. This is a fair whack to spend on a trifecta but if you pick your races carefully you can give yourself a wide spread of runners, and thus stand the chance of hooking some handsome returns.

If \$75 or more is a bit too much for your wallet, you can always use the ‘flex-bet’ facility and bet a percentage of the total stake. Bet, say, 50 per cent and you’ll only be up for \$37.50 on a \$75 combination (based on \$1 units).

You can also form a small syndicate with a couple of mates. So then a \$75 spend would cost each of you only \$25.

Okay, let’s look at the first of the multiples I am suggesting. It will cost you \$72 and it goes like this:

ABCD//ABCD//ABCDEFGH

It’s a 4x4x8 combination. You can see from the above AB etc example that you will have four horses going for you to nab 1st and 2nd placings. In other words, you need to land the quinella with these four horses (ABCD). If you do, then you have the remaining two going in for 3rd, along with another four runners (EFGH). (Always remember that you ‘lose’ any selection which provides a placing for you.)

If, say, A and B ran 1st and 2nd, then you would have C and D going for 3rd, along with the extra four (EFGH).

This is a good approach. It allows you to use, say, the first two  favourites in your main foursome, plus a couple of good value selections. And it gives you six runners to fight for 3rd place.

Let’s move up now to spending \$100. We can do this via a 5x5x7 combination which goes as follows:

ABCDE//ABCDE//ABCDEFG

Now you are in a very good position to get your first two horses home because you have FIVE selections going. If you can nail the quinella, then you have three of those five going into the slot for 3rd, along with new selections F and G. That means you have five runners trying to get you the last leg of the trifecta.

Once again you can cover well-fancied and longshot chances in your main five selections.

It would probably be preferable to use such a \$100 multiple in races of at least 12 runners. The smaller the field the less likely it is you will get a fat enough divvie to make the bet worthwhile.

What if you were very confident of nailing the race winner in one pick in a big field? How could you cover the other 2nd and 3rd slots for around \$100?

If the field totals 19 runners, you could use a combination of 1x6x18 for \$102. It goes like this:

A//BCDEFG//field

If your main selection wins, you have six runners going for the 2nd spot. If one of them gets up, the other five go for 3rd along with the rest of the field.

This approach could work well in a major race like the Doncaster or the Epsom or the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, providing you were really, really sure you could nail the winner as your sole banker!

The approach works on any size field. With a field of 14, say, you’d be up for \$72.

What about a smallish field, but wide open for chances? You could consider the following link-up (and use it at the greyhounds as well:

ABC//ABCDE//ABCDEFGH

This is a 3x5x8 combination, costing \$72. You have chosen three horses (dogs) as your win bankers. One of them MUST win the race. If you get the winner, then two of the three go into the 2nd slot along with new entries D and E, giving you four runners for 2nd. If one of them gets 2nd, you then have the remaining three, plus three others to shoot for 3rd.

If, say, A wins, then you have BCDE for 2nd, and if, say, B runs 2nd you will have CDEFGH for 3rd.

NEXT MONTH: Betting around the \$150 mark for the trifecta and First 4.

By Jon Hudson

PRACTICAL PUNTING – SEPTEMBER 2008