Looking back over 20 plus years of system gathering, what strikes me is the number of systems that HAVE NOT been published in PPM!

Our pages have contained hundreds of systems and “ideas” for systems, and yet, when I check my files and look at those held by my colleagues Richard Hartley Jnr and Martin Dowling (to name just two), I see that there are many systems which have never seen the light of day as far as publication is concerned.

I thought I’d kick off this series of articles with a look at some of those “unknown” systems (though I suppose some readers, at least, will know of them, or variations of them). Most will provide you with “banker” selections that should give you a real run for your money, whether each way, win only or contained in combinations for quinellas, trifectas and so on.

Some years back, a system that was sent to me by a reader was called The Most Successful Racing System Ever. Phew, that’s some claim, isn’t it!

Like a lot of good systems (and bad ones), it originated in England but it is easily adaptable to Australian and NZ racing.


  1. Bet only on races with fields between six and 12 runners.
  2. Contender must have been placed (1st to 4th) at least four times in its last six runs and it must have WON at least once.
  3. Contender must have had at least two starts in its current campaign and must have been placed (1st to 4th) in at least one of them.
  4. Contender must be a course winner, a distance winner, or both.
  5. Contender must have had its last start within the previous 15 days.

Well, whether it’s the “best ever” system is open to debate, but there it is for you to analyse and perhaps use or check out in the months ahead.

We now come to a system sent to me by Reg (no surname) via email. Reg says he’s been a PPM reader for the last 15 years and enjoys very much the cut and thrust of daily system bets.  A multiple user, Reg claims he has regular success with a very simple system called The Forecast Plan.

It is, indeed, an intriguing approach and could well be worth checking out.


  1. Operate on any metropolitan meeting.
  2. Consider only the first three horses in the morning betting market (if more than one horse on a line, consider as well).
  3. Selection is the horse with the HIGHEST prizemoney earnings (total, not average earnings).

At face value, there’s not much wrong with this little plan. You are on a well-fancied runner and the horse has proven itself by having amassed the most prizemoney of any runner in the race.

The 6-Points Plan is another sent to me by Reg (he says he has a bagful of systems collected over the last 25 years!). It’s more or less a “formline” check of various factors with points allotted, and the runner with the most points is the selection.


  1. Operate on any meeting at any track, though city meetings are preferable.
  2. Check only the runners on the first five lines of betting in the morning newspaper market.
  3. Allot one point for each of the following factors if the horse meets the criteria:

    (a)    Has won at the track.
    (b)    Has won at the distance (give or take 50m).
    (c)    Was placed 1st/2nd/3rd at its latest start.
    (d)    Had its last start within the previous 15 days.
    (e)    Won before on the prevailing track condition.
    (f)    Has a top jockey aboard.

If a horse fits all six requirements and is the only horse in the race to do so, it becomes a “banker” bet.  The system says that “value” bets are top-raters which are at 3/1 or longer in the betting.

We now look at a system which was actually in Richard Hartley Jnr’s file. It was among those left to him by his late father, who was a system “nut”.

This system is called The One Winner Plan, and when you see the rules you will realise how the name came about.


  1. Operate only on city meetings.
  2. Consider only those races with eight to 16 runners.
  3. You consider only those runners in the top quarter of the field. That is, a maximum of four contenders in a 16-horse field. In an eight horse field, just two contenders. In a nine horse field, three contenders; in a 10 horse field, three contenders; in an 11-horse field, three contenders, in a 12-horse field, three contenders, in a 13-horse field, four contenders, in a 14-horse field, four contenders, in a 15 horse field, four contenders.
  4. If there is ONE horse only who won last time out, it is the selection.
  5. If no last start winners, ignore the race.
  6. If more than one last start winner, ignore the race.
  7. Any selection at 5/1 or longer should be backed each way.

The next system is one that’s based purely on recent form. It’s an interesting concept. The rules call for you to operate ONLY on Open Handicaps, or Group 1, 2 and 3 races. Make sure you adhere to that requirement!


  1. Operate only on city meetings.
  2. Operate only on Open Handicaps and Grp 1, 2 and 3 races (these can be at set weights or WFA as well as handicaps).
  3. Only runners to be considered are those that have won at least one last three starts and been at least placed in the other two. The last three form figures, then, must add up to no more than a total of five.
  4. The form figures are: 111=3; 112=4; 121=4; 131=5; 221=5;212=5, 311=5.
  5. Contender must have competed at the distance of the current race in its last three starts.

This really is a most interesting concept and I would hold out some confidence for its long term effectiveness.

Because it concentrates on good class races, and only looks at horses with sound recent form, it simply has to be a winner-producer.

A system along similar lines was sent to me by Des Robinson, a PPM reader for the last six years. Des says he likes to back horses with good recent form who are proven at the distance. Don’t we all!


  1. Operate only on city meetings.
  2. Choose the best two races at a meeting on which to operate.
  3. Consider each horse’s last TWO runs only.
  4. Allot points as follows for the form:

    (a)    1st . . . .    5 points
    (b)    2nd . . .     3 points
    (c)    3rd . . .     2 points
    (d)    4th . . .     1 point
  5. Course and distance (CD) winner . . . 3 pts.
  6. Course winner only . . . 2 points.
  7. Distance winner only . . . 2 points.

Don’t forget that you must allot points for a horse’s last two starts. So, if a horse ran 1st and 2nd at its latest starts then it would receive 5 pts for the win and 3 pts for the place.

There have been a number of variations of this system in the last decade or so. I think it’s a most useful approach and one virtually guaranteed to get you a lot of winners.

I think this handful of systems will provide you with a lot of fun. Check them out “on paper” if you so wish just to see how they perform on a day to day, week to week basis. If you do decide to bet them immediately, then don’t bet too much.

Test the water first! Sometimes, what seems a cracker of a plan on paper turns out to be less than satisfying once it is applied to real-time races. But that’s half the fun of system following. It’s an up and down business!

NEXT MONTH: Some of the best systems that have been published in PPM since 1985.

By Jon Hudson