So you want to change your betting approach? So you're absolutely sick and tired of the same old routine? Had enough of doing it the way you've always done it before? It is, as the politicians might say, time for a change.

The purpose of this series is to feed some ideas to you. Last issue, I took you through some ideas, including one that challenged you to adopt an entirely new way of setting about your form study.

Taking this a step further, let's say that we adopt an across-the-board 'bottoms up' approach to every aspect of form - from the runners in a race, to the jockeys, to the trainers, to the betting market as well. Let's forget who's on top, and start investigating those who ain't!

With jockeys for example, we can start with the 'battlers', those riders who don't get many winners. But they do pop up from time to time (usually when we're not looking!) and by checking out their mounts we might 'suss out' the smoky. It's worth the try.

And then there are the trainers. We all know about the Freedmans, the Waterhouses and company. Their horses are always going to be widely talked about and noted. But what about some of the lesser lights? Why not look at their entries for the day.

You might spot that a country trainer is trekking hundreds of kilometres to race one horse at a Sydney meeting. Why is he doing this? Does he reckon he's got one good enough to win? You can bet your lapels he probably does. So take a searching look at his runner - do you agree that it has a show? Or is the trainer being wildly optimistic?

You can check out all the battlers - trainers, jockeys and horses - in a bid to find longshots, if not as winners but as placers in your trifectas. It could be well worth the effort.

Starting your analysis from the bottom weights, instead of from the top weights, is another way to go. Or you can, say, split the betting market into three sections, and analyse from that. Start with the runners at 25/1 and higher (C), then have a middle range group between, say, 10/1 and 20/1 (B) and then the main group from the favourite through to the 9/1 chances (A).

Tick off the best chances in each division. Then measure the C chances against the Bs. Then, from the ones you decide on from these two groups, you measure them off against the A runners.

Of course, a completely different attack would be to forget all runners in the race except those on the first five lines of betting! I know a few smart punters who do just that. They reckon that so many races are won in that market range that it's not worth the trouble to look any further.

An area of form often overlooked is prizemoney earnings, and a horse's average earnings. These can be a slick arbiter of a horse's actual 'class'. Formguides like the Sportsman and Wizard carry each horse's average earnings figures. Using their charts, you can quickly establish the 'class' runners through the average earnings index - and restrict your form study to, say, the top five or six.

Another angle for those wanting to cut out a lot of the hard graft associated with form study would be to choose the horses with the best records at the track, or perhaps those with the best win and place strike rates. All these factors are readily available.

If nothing else, they give you a fresh starting point in your racing deliberations. And that's all many punters need to revitalise their betting.

My system suggestion for a new approach is as follows:


  1. Adopt the following points for average earnings:

    $10,000 or more20
    Less than $10005
  2. Add to the earnings points the total of a horse's win and place strike rates (that is, 20% win, 33% place, then add 53 to the earnings total).
  3. Deduct the horse's weight from this tally (i.e. if a horse is carrying 55kg, then deduct 55 from the total of the first two rules).
  4. Horse with the highest total is the main selection.

This is just one way for you to take another look at how you arrive at your selections. It's an angle worth considering, and maybe refining. Never be afraid to put a selection system under the microscope in order to make it better!

You may see a way that an extra rule or two could be added to my system to make it more effective to make it pick more winners If you can, I would be delighted to hear from you.

I hope this little series has provided you with some food for thought for your betting. A change is as good as a rest!

Click here to read Part 1.

By Peter Travers