I did a bit of boxing as a youngster and one of the things my schoolmaster-cum-trainer told me was to 'box clever and you'll win.' I think the same principle applies to betting on greyhound races.

If you're clever enough to avoid the big blows to the pocket, you can beat the game. How much you beat it by is up to you.

Last month, in the first article in this series, I talked about how to study form by looking at it two ways - statistically and by situational evaluation. The third factor is bet structure. How do you bet your dogs once you've chosen them? How serious are you going to be?

Firstly, let's be honest. There will be nights when nothing works, and these are the occasions that you will need to overcome if you're to have any chance of making your betting pay.

If your homework has been good enough, there will not be too many 'blackout' cards. But before you risk your money, there are some things you need to get clear. The most important is that no matter how good your system, no matter what percentage of winners you pick, it's entirely possible (in fact, EASY) to still lose money.

Once you have done all the necessary work in making your selections, you are HALFWAY to a profit. Only halfway. The other 50 per cent is comprised of intelligent betting and secure money management.

You can't do all the work, go to the track, drink beer and have a laugh with your mates, bet haphazardly, and expect to go home with a profit. You need to work out your betting approach in advance, to have a strategy mapped out, even though there will be occasions when last-minute decisions have to be made about whether to bet or not.

Your first job is to decide at what financial level your betting should be. Some people are born $2 punters. If you're one of those, then you can forget about ever making big bucks at the dogs; you can enjoy the flutter but that's all.

If you've refined your approach into a reliable winner-producing model, then I believe your kick-off point should be a decision to attack the trifecta. A form of 'boxing' the selections is required. You must then decide which races on the card are going to offer any value.

There's not much point in betting trifectas on every race, or on races where you can easily determine that a small dividend is likely. You have to secure some big hits.

When a race looks bad, all you have to do is ignore it. The lack of the ability to say 'no' can easily destroy all the profits that a good system can bring you. On average, I'd say that at least three races on a 10-race card can be ignored. Sometimes one or two more.

How to bet the trifectas? To my mind, the best way is the standout banker to win, with three others. It's a cheap bet but it can haul in some fine dividends. If you're betting, say, seven races a night, the outlay is going to be only $42 (seven trifectas at $6 each).

I suggest that ONE winning trifecta will usually be enough to put you into profit for the night. Two winning trifectas should give you a return of at least $75 to $100 probably more if you maintain a value-odds approach.

Can you select two trifectas from seven every night? Much depends on you, the individual, and how much time you are willing to put in to find your selections. just recently, I've been using the dog selection program on the Classic 7 computer handicapping disk and my results have been excellent.

This is a most useful program because it allows you to input all the various details of the form. The program, drawn up on the outcomes of thousands of city races, then determines the order of selection and the true-odds pricing.

I can recommend this software o anyone who has a keen interest in form and is prepared to do the hard yards. It has certainly helped me get my thoughts into focus.

I've mentioned only one method of playing your selections. There are many others. You can simply bet level stakes on your top selections, though I feel this will basically prove a frustrating way to do business!

You will always need to give yourself an edge that will hold out the promise of some windfall returns. Over a year, it could well be that your profits will rely on a handful of well-chosen value priced trifectas.

NEXT MONTH: World experts tell ... We seek the views of some of the world's greatest greyhound handicappers. How do they pick the winners?

Click here to read Part 1.

By George 'Barker' Bellfield