As promised, this month we are going to take a look at staking methods for trifectas.

As with the quinella staking method given last month, the following trifecta staking method expects you to have six selections per race. Or to be more specific, six selections in those races in which you attempt to get the trifecta.

As mentioned last month, you may wish to ignore very open betting races and races with less than eight runners after scratchings.

How you decide upon the top six selections and their order is up to you. Pre-post market position is a popular method. Tipsters' polls or rated markets are others.

Whatever method you use, we suggest you mark off the top six selections in each race after scratchings. If you are using pre-post markets or tipster polls then we suggest you use the Weekend Australian for Saturday races. In the case of tipster polls you will have to calculate your own consensus column as the paper only lists the top three (do this by using 3 points for first, 2 points for second and 1 point for third).

Now that you have your top six selections per race, make sure you have them in order. The easiest way to identify their order is to place a number from 1 to 6 against their names in the newspaper formguide. If any horses are in equal positions then we suggest you use win percentages to separate them.

So how do you go about backing your top six selections in trifectas?

To assist us in describing the staking, we will assume your top selection is A, second top is B, third top is C, fourth top is D, fifth top is E and sixth top is F. Exactly as we did last month for our quinella staking method.

What you then do is take the following two bets:

  1. Box the top three selections. That is A with B with C.
  2. Take the top pick as a standout for first with the next three selections for second and with the remaining five selections for third. That is A into B with C with D into B with C with D with E with F. This bet can also be written as A/B*C*D/B*C*D*E*F.

So how much does this cost?

Our boxed three selections results in the combinations ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA, CBA, and CAB. A total of six combinations for six units.

Our standout grouping results in the combinations ABC, ABD, ABE, ABF, ACB,ACD,ACE,ACF,ADB,ADC,ADE and ADF. A total of 12 combinations for 12 units.

All up we have a total of 18 combinations for 18 units.

That's $18 using $1 units or $9 using 50 cent units.

When you realise that the total number of trifecta combinations from six selections is 120, you can see that we have dramatically reduced our total possible outlay. In doing so the trick has been to maintain our chance of success by concentrating on the more likely combinations and excluding the less likely combinations.

There are a number of variations to the above approach, depending on how open or not the betting is on any particular race.

For example, if the betting is very open then rather than ignore the race you may wish to box the entire six selections.

As already mentioned, this would cover 120 combinations and cost $120 using $1 units and $60 using 50 cent units.

An alternative approach that can be used when the favourite is a definite standout is to just use the second grouping of bets given earlier. That is, you don't bother boxing the top three.

This will mean you only have to cover 12 combinations instead of 18. The resultant cost being $12 in the case of $1 units and $6 in the case of 50 cent units.

That's all for this month, Good Punting!

By John O’Sullevan