Most punters like to have a go at trifecta betting. It's one of the exotic forms of betting that offers you the prospect of massive returns for a relatively small outlay. I have been attacking trifectas for some time now, using my Invader Ratings, and am happy to report substantial profits.

I have an easy betting operation. Firstly, I confine myself to Open and Welter Handicaps which have 12 or less runners. I then do my Invader Ratings workouts and concentrate on the top seven horses in the points list. This means an outlay of $210 to couple the seven horses in trifecta boxes so that no matter which three fill the placings I have secured the trifecta.

Over the past 12 months, I have averaged close to a 70 per cent strike rate on the trifectas on which I have operated. Unfortunately, the majority of them do not pay enough to cover the $210 outlay-but not to worry. There is always a regular big win to more than compensate! So much so, that my trifecta betting is proving a marvellous profitmaker for me.

I realise that for most punters, the prospect of forking out $210 per race is too much. That figure is for $1 units. You can operate the Invader Ratings trifecta horses on 50 cent units, which would mean a stake of $105 per race to couple the seven top selections.

You could consider forming a syndicate. Two or three punters chipping in together will make the idea easily workable and not too much of a financial strain on any member. You might even think about a bigger syndicate-say six to 10 punters.

You have to be prepared to exercise patience and also be ready to accept losses at some stage of the operation. The statistics show, however, that the big wins do come along, as you'll see from the February/March figures I have produced for you in this article.

All the details of my Invader Ratings have been published recently in P.P.M., and in the 1988 P.P.M. Annual. They are easy-to-follow and a race of 12 or less runners shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes or so to rate.

Let's look now at recent examples of how the Invader Ratings have fared with the 7-horse trifecta boxes:

You can see from this section of workout that 13 races have been bet on, with NINE trifectas being struck, of which three showed a profit. But the profits were huge, with two of the trifectas being worth $5,996 and $4700 (for $1 units).

In one race* only six horses were boxed because of the size of the field, reducing the stake to $120. Overall, the total stake on the 13 races was $2,640 for a total return of $11,616. This is a clear profit of $8,976.

The essence of this method of approach is this: You accept that about 30 to 35 per cent of all bets will lose. About 65 to 70 per cent will provide a dividend, and about 30 per cent of these will give you a profitable return.

The ultimate key, then, is the size of the winning dividends. My experience has shown that you can rely on striking very big dividends from time to time, certainly enough times to put you ahead with a very healthy profit over a 12-month period.

I have chosen a series of bets for my example which sort of mirror the events of a year. You will probably like to see the Invader workouts for the two big winning trifectas. They are as follows:

Top seven selections:

  1. Brequillo-LOST, 7-2
  2. Amstel King-2nd, 12-1
  3. New Century-3rd, 9-2
  4. My Good Fella-4th, 3-1
  5. Royal Csaga-LOST, 14-1
  6. Royal Exit-LOST, 12-1
  7. Apple Tumover-WON, 100-1

This was a wonderful result. Apple Turnover squeezed in as the 7th selection and got home at huge odds. The Invader also was clever enough to nail down Amstel King, a 12-1 chance, for the second placing, as well as snaring 3rd and 4th placegetters.

This is the sort of mighty result that you can expect to achieve by going to the trouble of working out your Invader Ratings and coupling up the top seven prospects. Now let's look at an even more remarkable result, the T. S. Carlyon Cup (2000m) trifecta that the Invader struck at Caulfield on March 5.

Defying the odds, the Invader was able to neatly package this trifecta with the minimum of fuss.

The seven top selections were:

  1.   Bahrain 65.5
  2.   Black Charleston 62.0
  3.   Our Palliser 58.5
  4.   Island Spy 58.0
  5.   Happy View 57.5

Ideal Centreman 57.5 (7) Beau Trist 56.5 At first glance, and judged on early betting, it would seem the Invader selections were completely way out. Even as betting progressed, its two main selections were more or less unwanted in the betting. Bahrain was sent out at 7-1 and Black Charleston at 50-1.

Punters wanted only Island Spy and Our Palliser, who were 4-1 and 2-1 respectively at close of betting. As the race turned out, it was a triumph for the ratings, with Black Charleston winning from Bahrain with Happy View (20-1) snaring 3rd spot.

The trifecta paid $4,700 (in Qld), giving the $210 outlay an enormously profitable boost. Here, then, is an example of how strikingly effective these trifecta plays can be.

In fact, you could have snared the Caulfield trifecta by linking only the top six selections of the Invader. But I do recommend that for better prospects of hitting big~value divvies you stick with the seven selections. This gives you a chance to cover a wide range of selections in a field of 12 or less.

Even taking this section of action as an example, you can see that the profit you achieved in that brief period would be enough to cover you for another 42 trifectas at $210 each before the profit figure would be wiped out. I can assure you that in that time you will have struck many more trifectas, including some at very big odds.

Getting away from trifectas for a moment, those of you who might not want to adopt such a betting approach should consider backing the first selections of the Invader. They have a good strike rate. In a recent test, they went as follows:

3rd 16-1, 4th 7-2 and WON 6-1 (equal top), Lost 8-1, Lost 8-1, Lost 4-1, 4th 7-1 and WON 11-2 and 3rd 8-1 (all equal top), WON 5-2, WON 7-1, Lost 7-2, Lost 7-1, 2nd 4-1 and 3rd 5-2 (equal top) and 2nd 7-1.

Total stake: 16 units, total return 24 units. A nice profit here only and my records show that over a longer period you can achieve a much better result.

Keen punters will find much to keep them interested when examining the Invader Ratings. They are useful for all forms of betting. In the trifecta example I have shown, you are chasing the big money.

This means a larger outlay than normal, some regular losses, but over a 12-month period the chance of raking in some huge trifecta dividends which will see you end up a big winner.

I am always interested to hear from people with Invader Ratings queries, so don't hesitate to drop me a line if you have a query or can offer some positive improvements.

By Brian Blackwell