We'd all love to find a 'superbet' each day of the wouldn't we? If we could only reduce our betting down to that one fantastic winning bet each day, how wonderful this punting life would be.

Finding a superbet, however, is just as tough an assignment as finding four or five of them! Try doing it one day. Tell yourself you want to nail just one winner for the day, one extra-special bet.

I dare say your thoughts will immediately veer towards the hot favourites, especially those at odds-on. This is only natural. We always like to believe that the raging hot favourites will win.

Having found, say, two or three odds-on shots, what do you do then? You only want one of them. How to discard two and bet on the other one?

Then you'll start to think: Hey, even if I do this every day and I get lots of winners, I'm not really going to make much money, if any, because the darned prices are so skinny they will never compensate for the inevitable percentage of losers!

Deciding to avoid odds-on favourites, you might next decide that you'll appraise those favourites at evens and upwards. Now, you're in really difficult territory for the simple fact there are so many of them!

You know that at best the favourites are going to win only 30 per cent of the time. So what price can you afford to take? Avoid the 2/1 chances? Go for those at 3/1 and upwards?

Now you are in the frustrating realm of the punter who wants to back just one horse and, over a period of time, make a profit. It's not as easy as it sounds. Sure, you may strike a winner backing a hot favourite, and, let's say, you are up 1.5 units on a 6/4 winner.

Continue to back 6/4 shots and you won't win (unless you can create a spectacular staking plan that can lift your returns).

Finding a superbet, then, is tough. It's not just a simple matter of picking hotpots at short prices. What you need is a horse that fits form requirements and yet is being offered at a reasonable, value price. So how best to go about such a task?

There are so many twists and turns in the form for any race, that you need to possess skill, a touch of daring and enormous discipline if you're to succeed on a profitable basis in picking your superbets.

Personally, I restrict myself to certain race classes. I'm not a slave to this factor but I do try to make it a cornerstone of my approach. The natural inclination of most punters is to look at the best races on the cards. The thinking behind this is that the best races offer the best chance of finding a winner.

WRONG! Don't be deluded into thinking that best means easy. It doesn't. There is far more value, most times, in finding a winner in the weaker races than in the best races.

I rather like races restricted to 3yo's, especially in the second half of the season when the formlines have settled down and you have a good idea about each individual's form and idiosyncrasies.

As well as form, of course, the astute punter should try to anticipate stable intentions. An instance of this was in a 1200m race at Moonee Valley on June 26.

I noticed John Hawkes had brought 3yo Tolleshunt to Melbourne after racing him in Adelaide with some success. He'd won two starts back at Morphettville over 1200m and had then finished 8th there over 1100m. The key point was that in that race he'd been held up for a run.

Why had Hawkes brought him across to Melbourne? Obviously, it was felt he was good enough to beat the Victorian 3yo's. And that's how it turned out. He won around the 6/1 mark.

Did I back him as a superbet? Well, no, but he was among three I narrowed the race down to after my form assessments. If I had taken my form study a step further, I suppose there was a decent chance I might well have seen him as a superbet.

After all, he was down 2kg in weight on his last start, he had Darren Gauci aboard and he had a 40 per cent winning record at the distance. These are solid angles which inspire confidence.

When you're looking for a superbet, then, you must be prepared to examine as many angles as you can think of and if they lead to a selection at a very short price you must then decide if the bet is worthwhile. Do you really want to bet your money on a horse at, say, 4/6?

Would it be better to forget it, and wait another day until you find a horse that figures to win and is at a much more attractive price? The money you were going to bet on the shortie can be added to your bet on the value runner.

In next month's PPM, I'll be showing you a detailed set of rules which have helped me, over the years, to find good bets. Used sensibly, the rules will, I'm sure, add some zest to your own thinking about the selection process.

By Denton Jardine