In the December issue of PPM, there were statistics which indicated that over 70 per cent of winners come from horses which are in the first three or four at the home turn. The following, then, is a quick trifecta selection method based around such horses.

Horses that come home well from the rear usually do that every time they race, but they rarely win.


  1. You will need the Form At A Glance liftout from the Sportsman.
  2. Not obligatory, but I suggest you work on fields of 10 or more runners, between 1350m and 2000m. This will eliminate most first-starters and do away with slowly-run longer-trip races.
  3. In the Sportsman, go to the Speed & Fitness section of the race tables and note every runner that is listed as 'likes to lead' or 'races handy'. You may, in fact, prefer to make your own assessments of these factors by going through the recent form for each runner.
  4. Using the daily newspaper, sort this group of 'on the pace' runners into pre-post betting market order. If equal in price, use barrier position order.
  5. Add the remaining pre-post runners in market order to the end of your on-the-pace list.

This selection method gives us both those runners which, in normal circumstances, will be up with the field, or in front of most of it, and are favoured by the betting market price-framers.

For your trifecta investments, I suggest, as always, that you take more runners to finish 2nd than you do for a win, and more for 3rd than for 2nd. For example, consider the following linkups:

2x3x5 ($6 for 50 cent units) 2x3x7 ($10) 3x4x5 ($13.50) 2x4x7 ($15) and so on.

Early indications are that you will find an incredible number of winners and placegetters in your first three or four selections. Also, the better-class races at midweek meetings seem to stand up pretty well to this selection approach.

Just recently, a 90/1 winner cropped up in the five runners in the 'races handy' group. It's early days yet while I examine how best to use this on-the-pace theory to trifecta advantage. There are any number of different scenarios to be considered and tested.

Now, just a few words about trifecta betting which you might care to consider while heading into following the system outlined here.

The more combinations you take, the more often you will collect. But have you ever thought how difficult it really is and how, as one of the pack, the odds are stacked against you? For example: Let's say we have a 12-horse field and you decide to take a 3x5x8 trifecta for $36 at 50c units. That is three horses to win, the same three plus two more for 2nd, with the same five and three more for 3rd.

Yes, it is a fairly large outlay for a small punter and not one many can afford or be willing to part with on one bet. You may think that with such a bet you can expect to get more than your fair share of collects. Not so.

For the average tipsters, I would suggest with a combination of 3x5x8, in reasonably sized fields, you probably cannot hope to get more than one trifecta in every four. So each time you select a trifecta it has to pay $144 (four times $36) just to enable you to break even.

Why not test yourself out? Next Saturday, make selections in every race and put on your imaginary 3x5x8 combination. Long term, you will find the statistics accurate.

I'll explain why. In our 12-horse field we have three runners to win. That's nine running against us. Three-quarters of the field we don't have. Let's say, though, that we select the winner. Now, for 2nd, we have just four runners out of the remaining 11, so seven runners can knock us out.

If we get lst and 2nd, we are now down to six runners out of 10 to fill that 3rd slot. But we all like to give the trifectas a go, anyway. They are fun and there's always the carrot of a real big divvie around the next comer!

NEXT MONTH: Barry Meyer comes up with a fantastic major feature, which extends the on-the-pace theory and also reveals key elements about the secret to backing big trifecta winners. Don't miss this excellent article.

By Barry Meyer