NEIL DAVIS is a NZ-based form analyst who runs the website. Neil is one of NZ’s most respected experts. Last month in PPM he outlined the first part of his trifecta strategy. This article concludes his thoughts.

Last month I told of collecting a $264 trifecta at Taupo. Of course it wasn’t a huge trifecta. You generally won’t get a $1,000 plus trifecta in eight horse fields or less. So to get the big ones, we still use the same principles of sorting out the false favourites, but bet on fields of 12 or more. If you see a false favourite in a smaller field, still bet in it but keep your cost down. ?

The dividends, long term, will not give you the big boost you will need to keep the bank growing. But in the right races, the smaller ones are the bread and butter.

The chances of a favourite getting beaten in bigger sized fields are increased anyway, simply by the fact that he has more horses to beat and more things can go wrong.

That brings us to the staking plan. I’ll guarantee 95 per cent of people reading this article won’t persist with this plan of attack, because they will have the inevitable five or six losses in a row and go for the favourites again in their combinations.

The 5 per cent that will persevere will have every chance of striking the occasional big ones that make it all worthwhile. Here’s the key with betting on trifectas – expect to lose around 80 per cent of the time and build that into your staking and money management plan.

Say your budget for trifectas is $100 per week. ?Put that $100 away for 10 weeks in a row, don’t have another bet on trifectas, and try it out on paper. ?After 10 weeks, you will have discovered how to do this properly.

If you have to have a trifecta bet, do it for a $5 or $10 percentage bet which will give you a 5 per cent or 10 per cent bet on a 4x5x8 trifecta. ?That way you aren’t risking the bulk of your bank but still stand a good chance of getting a big one and bumping up your bank whilst developing your skills.

Once you have got to a bank of $1,000 you can bet a percentage of it on each trifecta bet. I suggest betting 2 per cent or $20 on your first one, then after each day of betting, read just your bet to 2 per cent of the balance, e.g. if it goes up to $1,200 your next bet is $24. If it goes down to $800, still bet that $20 until your balance increases over $1,000. That way you know it will take 50 losses in a row to wipe out your bank.

In the meantime, build up a reserve bank of the same amount, just in case you have a real drought. Having that in place will give you extra confidence also.

Boxing horses up is an easy way of covering all combinations, but you will need to strike a lot more trifectas than you could reasonably expect to make a long term profit.

So we need to cut our costs down. Instead of boxing up six horses for $120, with a bit more study you could reduce the cost dramatically ?and take a 4x5x6 combination for $64 or a 3x4x8 combination for $54. Once you have sorted out a race where you think the favourite can get beaten in a field of 12 or more runners, you have to decide what are the realistic chances of winning.

If you only see ?two or three ?then that’s great, as ?it will keep your outlay down. ?If there are two or three more that you can only see pushing the winners, they get added in for second, along with your horses for first, then the third placegetter is where you ?get the big trifectas.

When doing the form, go through each runner and cross it off if you give it absolutely no show of getting near a place. If you can say, yes, it could get into a place, then put it in for third.

After you have gone through the field carefully, then include all of your picks for first and second in your third place selections.

Below I’ve detailed some common combinations for the cost of $1 units.

The first digit is the number of horses taken for first, the second one is for second placegetters and the third is for third placegetters.

2x3x5 $12
2x3x6 $16
2x4x6 $24
3x4x5 $27
3x4x6 $36
3x4x8 $54
3x5x5 $36
3x5x8 $72
3x6x6 $60
4x5x6 $64
4x5x7 $80
4x5x8 $96
4x6x10 $160
Here’s an example. I’ll use letters to describe horses.

A, B ?and C for first
ABCDE for second
ABCDEFGH for third

That’s a 3x5x8 combination and will cost $72 in $1 units or a minimum of $5 for 6 per cent. Sometimes you will sort out the winners alright but have real trouble selecting only two or three  more for second, so in that case just include them all for 2nd and 3rd, excluding the hopeless chances.

You may be thinking, do I include the favourite for 2nd or 3rd? If you are confident that it will get beaten, back your judgement and exclude it. It is best if you can.

But if you are not that confident, put it in for 2nd or 3rd. It increases the cost but in a good sized field, especially if it is a less than $2 favourite, if it gets beaten, the return can sometimes be worthwhile. It just comes down to how confident you are about it getting beaten.

Another type of trifecta bet that I use on occasions is the AB x AB x Field trifecta. This is ideal when you have got two horses, and it may include a favourite, that you are very keen on for first and second.

So you take them for first and second in any order and the field for third. In a good sized field, if you can get a $5 place or more chance up for third, it can give you a chance of a really big one, especially if your A or B selection is not the favourite. I don’t do it very often, but I have had tremendous dividends from relatively small outlays over the years. ?Sometimes the favourite will slot into third – accept it, because all you want is the odd real outsider to make it very worthwhile.

It’s uncanny really, but about four hours before I posted this article, there was a race at Avondale that was ideal for an AB trifecta.

There were two horses that I was very keen on to fight it out, Yendarra and Doryman. The favourite, Waiknotme, hadn’t raced for 28 days, was also carrying equal topweight of 58kg on a downgraded heavy track, so there was a good chance of him feeling the pinch in the last 200m over a 1600m slog in the mud.

They both fought it out with the lesser favoured Yendarra wearing down Doryman. Tuscan Sun was able to hang on for third at $2.85, while favourite Waiknotme battled on for fourth after being second at the 300m. The trifecta paid a handy $317.55. For the cost of $18 for $1 units, you can see that you would have to lose the next 18 AB trifecta bets to break about even.

You may be thinking, okay, it’s easy to be a wise guy after the event, but I did post in the selections for the day, that they were the only two I liked in the race. But believe me, it doesn’t always work out as easy as that.

When co-mingling of the betting pools between Australia and New Zealand takes place in 2007, the take out on trifecta betting will be reduced from 25 per cent to 20 per cent, increasing the average trifecta dividend on gallops meetings from $1,000 to $1,066.60. That is going to be another reason to do your homework on trifecta betting.

In summing up:

  • Firstly learn to work out thosefalse favourites.
  • Secondly, build up a bank while you develop your skills.
  • Thirdly, and ?most importantly, accept the fact that you are going to lose more bets that you are going to win and build that into your staking plan. You will then get through those losing streaks. But when those winning streaks come, or you strike the occasional big one, ?they will be the cream on the cake and will ?pay for your trip to the Melbourne Cup and hopefully back again.

Click here to read Part 1.

by Neil Davis