There's a horse racing in Victoria named Bencreato. Many punters will know of him - and recognise him.

Why? Because Bencreato always wears vivid lime-green blinkers when he races. You can't miss him, even in a packed field, because the colourful blinkers allow you to easily pick him up.

Bencreato has been quite a successful galloper for young trainer Rob Laing. He has a nice winning record and an even better placed one.

Bencreato is one of those horses who race at their best in blinkers. He has worn them for most of his racing career.

Some punters like to always support horses who wear blinkers; others shy away from them, claiming that the blinkers indicate there is something wrong with the horse, and that he's not a 100 per cent trier.

Keen punters keep a close watch for horses who am suddenly switched to racing in blinkers, or suddenly have them removed.

Racing clubs know that blinker changes are so important that trainers require the permission of the stewards to make the changes.

The betting public is told through the newspapers, radio and TV, and, over the track public announcement system that blinker changes have been made.

If the stewards consider that blinkers make such a big difference in a horse's potential performance, then it's a sign to punters to take the things seriously!

Any blinker-changes in races for two-year-olds are particularly important. A trainer might experiment repeatedly with a youngster without the slightest semblance of a 'try' on the racetrack -- but when he decides to race the horse in blinkers it is time to take notice.

You can usually deduce that the blinkers have been put on only after a lot of experimentation in training.

If the blinkers-switch is tied in with a slight odds bet-down on raceday then the trainer, and connections, are certainly tipping their intent to punters.

We've had a look, very closely, at the impact on blinkers and the following idea is one that can lead you to many winners.

We chose an arbitrary price – pre-post - of 25-1 as the cutoff, but possible improvement could be gained by
lowering this cutoff to abut 15-1 or 20-1 (time and experience will tell).

You can experiment with this price cutoff yourself to determine which is the more successful.

RULE 1: Consider all horses that have blinkers ON or OFF.

RULE 2: This is the 'try' angle rather than a 'capability' angle. No 'try' is really complete without a little money showing up in the betting market. We suggest you look at the race and eliminate any horse involved in a blinker change which is at 25-1 or over in the pre-post market.

RULE 3: Because we are looking at a 'try' angle, and because most of our horses will be at fair odds, we suggest you always use an each-way betting approach.

RULE 4: If you have more than one horse involved in a blinkers-change, under 25-1, use the following 'tiebreaker' rules:
(a) eliminate those horses that have not raced within the last 30 days.
(b) if more than one horse still remains, bet on the one that earned the best placing within the last 30 days.

Those are the simple rules of the blinkers-change method; now let's take a look at what we mean.The Frank Underwood Cup, run over 1900 m at Canterbury on February 16, 1985, is an example. In the 8-horse field only one had a blinkers change Claim The Quest.

He was priced at 25-1 and won by a short half head. Claim The Quest had been listed at 15-1 in the pre-race market, so he was well-qualified.

There was a second example at the same meeting. This was in the Beverley Park Hospital Handicap for 3yo colts and geldings, and Spritely Native had the blinkers put on.

This horse was quoted at 10-1 in the pre-race market - he won the race at 16- 1.

Now this happens many, many times on city and country tracks.

The change in blinkers angle is a method of play that has shown itself to be a most rewarding one over the years. There are no elaborate rules to follow and any punter can get on to the blinker changes with little trouble.

Take the time to note the blinker horses and you will do well.

By Des Green