Bet five horses in a race? Make a profit? Well, at first glance, it seems a pretty tough task to extract a profit from such a situation. Much depends on the prices available.

The 'saver' multiple bet is what you would need to apply to make this approach a long-term winner.

You can use the 'saver' on anything from two selections onwards. Let me give you an example, using FIVE selections. We will call them Roan, Red, Black, White and Grey.

You decide to 'save' on Black, White and Grey and strive for an equal win from Roan or Red.

The prices of the five are:
ROAN 3/1
RED 9/2
BLACK 4/1
WHITE 8/1
GREY 9/1

The quickest formula to arrive at the amount of insurance bets is to ADD one to the price and DIVIDE into the full amount you are going to invest on the race.

Let's say we are going to bet \$100. To find the bet needed on Black we divide 5 (4+1) into \$100. The result is \$20. On White, we divide 9 (8+1) into \$100 and the bet is \$11, while on Grey the bet is 10 (9+1) divided into \$100, equalling \$10.

\$80 to \$20 BLACK
\$88 to \$11 WHITE
\$90 to \$10 GREY

A win by any of this trio will return us \$100.

We have now invested \$41 of our \$100 bank, which leaves us with \$59 to be placed on Roan and Red in such a way as to return an equal amount.

We follow the same procedure as in the previous example.

If we look at a bookmaker's percentage table (see PPM, page 17, April 2001) we see that Roan's price of 3/1 is equal to 25 per cent (.250). The figure for Red at 9/2 is 18.2 per cent or .182.

These give a grand total of .432, so our bets will be as follows:

ROAN \$59 multiplied by 250 divided by 432
RED \$59 multiplied by 182 divided by 432
This, to the nearest dollar, works out to \$34 on Roan and \$25 on Red, the bets being:
ROAN \$102 to \$34
RED \$112.5 to \$25

We have now invested our \$100. A win by either White, Black or Grey will square the bank. A win by either Roan or Red will bring in approximately \$136 and so provide us with a profit of \$36 on the entire transaction. This is 36 per cent on the total bet.

You can readily see how easy it is to back as many as five horses in a race to come out with a nice profit, or break even. After all, if you can't pick the winner in five picks, well, start looking at your selection process!

In real life? What about the Golden Slipper and backing all of Gai Waterhouse's five runners? If you were undecided on which one to back, you could have bet them all.

Let's say you decided to save on Red Hannigan (20 / 1) and Newquay (100/1). Your bets on those would have been \$1 and \$5, leaving you \$94 left to back Ha Ha (12/1), Excellerator (13/4) and Royal Courtship 4/1. Their percentages were 7.69, 23.53 and 20.0, totalling 51.19 per cent, or 511 (say).

To determine the bet on each:

Ha Ha: \$94 multiplied by 77 divided by 511 equals \$14 (rounded off).
Excellerator: \$94 multiplied by 235 divided by 511 equals \$43.
Royal Courtship: \$94 multiplied by 200 divided by 511 equals \$37.

These bets total \$94. Should any of them win, you have made an excellent profit. Ha Ha returns you \$182, Excellerator could return you \$182.75, while Royal Courtship's return is \$185.

On your \$100 bet, you have made more than 80 per cent profit.

Use this approach carefully on well-selected races, and on rational selections, and you will have many wins and very few losses.