Sometimes it can pay off to keep some simple, but clever, betting ideas in our head. Snippets mainly, but based on logic and which can be used to formulate neat plans for selecting and staking. I've put together 25 tips for you to think about - 15 for selecting and 10 for staking.

I reckon you'll find something there to get excited about!

  1. If you're looking for an easy way to find the best horses in a race, you probably can't beat the prizemoney barometer. All you need do is check the prizemoney for each runner, and the ones with the highest average (total earnings divided by number of starts) are the runners you have to seriously consider. The winners will roll in.
  2. You have to be careful following individual jockeys, but some show a strong strike rate over a season. Sort out those with an 18 per cent-plus winning strike rate (number of rides divided by number of wins) and you will be on very good, consistent riders. Check out their rides as your first form requirement and you should do well.
  3. Always look for horses that are following a careful, upward path in distance. Be wary of horses switching back from longer races to shorter races. This can be a sign of desperation on the part of connections. Horses eased upwards in distance are likely to prove far more reliable betting conveyances.
  4. Try to keep a 'black book' but not just on horses to follow. Mark down successful trainer-jockey combinations, especially those who are not linked officially. Some trainer-jockeys prove highly successful duos. After you have kept records for a while you will soon be able to spot the pairings who have a high win-strike rate.
  5. When you choose horses to follow, always make sure they are raced in the right grade next start. If you pick a horse that ran well in Class 1, be wary if he is jumped to Class 5 or 6 next start. This could mean his connections are too zealous. But watch when he comes back to the right class again!
  6. Big drops in weight are to be looked at carefully. You often find lightweight winners in big handicap races who drop anything from 5 to 8kg from their previous start. This can bring them right into a big race, even though at first they may seem to be outclassed. Weight is a great leveller.
  7. A good general rule-of-thumb is that if a horse is racing in the city then the form you should judge him by should be city form, not country or provincial. It works out many more times than it doesn't. Keep that in mind when you start to get carried away by a country win!
  8. So you like quinellas? You bet two horses a race to run 1-2? Ever considered you might make more money over a long period by having a multiple win-bet on each of the two runners to win the same amount? Professionals regard this as a much wiser and more profitable approach than quinellas.
  9. You've probably heard it many times before ... but it bears repeating. Pick the right races, and then set about picking the right horses. It makes sense to avoid poor-quality races and, thus, poor quality racehorses. Class 6 and higher should be the ones to choose. That way you avoid the pitfalls of trying to work out poor horse performances.
  10. If you're the type who doesn't know where to start when you begin examining afield ... well, you are not alone. Instead of wracking your brains, why not look at the horses on the first four lines of the pre-post betting. Most times the winner will be among them. Careful use of other factors, like the Tips you are now reading, will help further.
  11. A leading Sydney professional punter makes money by simply restricting his bets to horses from the Jack Denham, Lee Freedman and Peter Hayes stables. That's all he does. He doesn't back all their starters. Only the ones he reckons have tip-top prospects. He rarely has a losing run. He wins big most of the time.
  12. Conservative punters seeking 'safe' bets to include in exotic multiples might well consider the attractiveness of No. 1 horses. Those with TAB Number I next to their names. They have the highest strike rate of all. Pick the best ones, again using other Tips factors listed here, and you won't go far wrong.
  13. Put any pre-race favourite through a testing appraisal: Is it fit? Is it racing in form? Is it in the right class? Is it fairly weighted? Is it drawn well? Does it have a good jockey? A good trainer? Is it being offered at a sensible price? Answer these questions and you will know if the fav is true or false.
  14. Want a quick system to find a good bet? Stick to the top third in the handicap (18 runners, top 6), discard any runner with only one or two runs from a spell, discard any runner with a 9 or 0 in any of its last three runs, discard any runner resuming from a spell, discard any runner drawn outside 7. Back the one with the best laststart effort.
  15. Pay just as much attention in the final analysis of a race to horses with a sliding-form appearance (say 2-4-6, or 1-5-6) as you do to those with the opposite pattern. Often the 6th placing is better than a 2nd! It all depends on the class of the race and the luck in the run.

By Denton Jardine